Ducks would have had more fun on the old Northwest football field, where the official ground breaking was to take place Thursday.
On what was to be groundbreaking day for the Northwest Athletic Complex and field, turned out to be just a preview of what will soon be, one of the finest athletic complexes and fields around the area. Todd Jenkins, Northwest Superintendent, said that due to the cancelling of the groundbreaking, they will make plans for a ribbon cutting type of ceremony in the fall, when all is complete, and the students can walk out on the field.
Jenkins, along with Dave Frantz, Northwest Athletic Director, and Kirk Donges, Architect for TSHD, gathered to discuss some of the great things happening in the building of Northwest’s Athletic Complex and Field.
Frantz has been the athletic director at Northwest for close to 20 years, and has been with Northwest for 31 years. He has coached many sports since he has been at Northwest, both jr. high girls and boys basketball & track, varsity track, head and assistant football coach, golf, head girls high school basketball coach, & a small stint as cheerleading advisor. With all of his experience with the athletics at Northwest, and asked how he felt about the new complex, Frantz said, “This is probably some or one of the biggest, most positive things that has happened to our district in years. We’re very excited, the community is excited, kids are excited and the coaches are. I think our track and football fields have fallen behind and now we have, I think, we’re gonna exceed all expectations.”
“It’s been a positive thing, we were due for an upgrade, it’s good timing for our district, I think it is very supported and the best thing of all is, it is of no cost to the taxpayers in the community. The benefit is to support our kids, to give them something…our kids get an opportunity to kind of be the newest and greatest in this area,” Jenkins said. “I think one of the perks is that we will have a multipurpose indoor facility. We’ve done a lot of positive things, like the solar panels and many propane buses and we want to continue that.”
Jenkins said, “This complex allows the baseball and softball teams and others to use the facilities in the wintertime.”
Frantz added that the only negative to this would be trying to schedule everybody, but that would be a good negative. He continued that as Athletic Director, “We have good coaches here, that work together. It’s a very good cohesive staff and I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Donges said that once they were hired as the architects, they just did little changes, such as the footprint of the building to make it fit the site better. “We just re-arranged the pieces of the puzzle essentially, now all the locker rooms will be off directly to the field,” Donges said. “The track teams both boys and girls will share the same locker rooms as the soccer teams in the Fall.” Donges continued that the concession stand is already under construction, the ticket booths will be in with the concession stand. The old concession stand has already been torn down.
Both Jenkins and Donges said the complex and field are all to be done by September 1, or sooner. Donges added, “We have proposals out to the turf companies and then that will start right away.” They also have bleachers coming, but Frantz put in that they are keeping the home bleachers, but making them handicap accessible and then along with that, the new press box and new bleachers on the away side.”
“It’s a privilege to be able to come back to a district where you have done work before and help them improve the facilities even further, to continue our work with same client as before.” Donges said.
“The kids are really excited, even the band is excited, because they are looking to having a chance to have a band competition on the field,” Jenkins said. “We are also running decorative fencing, changing some landscaping, we are even adding pole vaulting to the track area.”
Frantz said that last year they had put in one of the nicest shot and discus areas and he would love to see them have a chance to have a district track meet at Northwest. “Thanks to a very good school board that works with us and who supports our kids, we really appreciate the job they are doing.”
Jenkins said they have both boosters and a lot of their parents that work concession who are thrilled to be able to work in a facility that Donges says is probably four times as big as their old one and they have been discussing with them what works for them and what doesn’t in the concession area. He added that not only will all the facilities be nice for both home and visitors, but they will have very nice restroom facilities and then the new visiting bleachers will house 600 people. He added that there is to be a sidewalk that they will walk and that the concession stand will have sales on that end.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928