|6/24/2020 12:19:00 PM|
Plaza construction 'a point of pride' for JCHS
|The new entry plaza will be centrally located between the football and baseball fields. Fans will enter the plaza through an arch adorned with JCHS logos. Above is an artist conception of what the arch at the plaza entrance might look like. Tickets for soccer, football, track and baseball events will be purchasable at a ticket booth just beyond the arch.—Submitted Art|
Kylan HiggsJennings County High School continues to progress with its scheduled upgrades despite the ongoing global pandemic.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new wrestling facility took place on March 5, 2020 and the succeeding construction continues on schedule, according to Todd Ford of Woolpert Inc, the architecture company holding the school construction contract.
The collaboration with Woolpert was originally intended to be a five-year plan, but several projects were combined together from the master plan to help reduce construction costs. For example, the paving projects were put together to help make individual projects more appealing to bidders.
But the upgrades don't stop there. On May 14, during a virtual meeting of the school board, plans were discussed regarding the renovation of the tennis courts and the installation of an entry plaza outside the football field.
The plaza will provide a first class greeting to fans as they enter the new facilities, according to Athletic Director Cory Stevens. It will properly house and shelter the stadium workers as they sell tickets to spectators.
"We felt that a combined entry plaza for the stadium and baseball field was a logical way to highlight and cap off this unprecedented athletic facility project," Stevens explained. Creating an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the sheds that were previously in place was a priority. "This should be a point of pride, announcing to home and visiting fans alike, that they have arrived at Jennings County High School."
The new entry plaza will be centrally located between the football and baseball fields. It allows usage for all sporting events at the football stadium and baseball field, and provides a grand entrance into the completely renovated project. Fans will enter the plaza through an arch adorned with Jennings County High School logos.
Upon entering, they will approach a stone ticket booth with an extended awning to protect spectators from the elements. The booth will hold multiple ticket sellers. Fans have the option of purchasing a ticket for a football, track or soccer event taking place in the stadium and entering to the left, or they can purchase a ticket for a baseball game and enter to their right. Currently, there is an area of gravel just beyond where the ticket booth will be, and builders will pave that area to give it a seamless and upgraded look.
Windscreens will be added to the baseball fence to limit visibility from the parking lot and help encourage spectators to sit within the stands.
The latest construction will help complete the new wrestling facility construction by expanding the parking lot to make up for the lost parking spaces within the wrestling building footprint. The expanded parking lot allows the amount of parking spaces to remain the same as before the wrestling building was constructed. Parking spaces have been added to the west, south and east of the existing parking lot to maintain parking.
JCHS was definitely in need of some TLC, according to Director of Facilities and Security Roy Herr, and the school has seen multiple construction projects and renovations in recent years.
The auxiliary gym addition, which was completed in 2009, was the last major athletic addition. Once the newest projects are completed, every sport at the high school will have state-of-the-art facilities.
Virtually every venue across the board was enhanced for JCHS athletics. Though academics are of major importance at JCHS, athletics has an equal significance.
"Many students graduate and go to college with scholarships they have earned from their dedication in sports," said Herr, emphasizing that having modern facilities is key to students' success.
"The additions are a testament to the community's commitment to athletics at Jennings County High School, attested Cory Stevens. He went on to say that the additions are an investment in local student-athletes and provide them with the greatest opportunities for success. These facilities will inspire JCHS student-athletes for years to come, enhancing their experiences in ways that can never truly be measured and giving them a great sense of merit when they compete for JCHS.
Harmon Construction won the contract with a bid of $1,134,675 to cover the tennis courts, entry plaza and parking spaces. Construction of the tennis courts and plaza is expected to be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2020 sports season and the parking lot will be completed in November, prior to opening the wrestling building.
Construction is not expected to affect the school year, as there were no disruptions this past spring during work.
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