If everything stays on schedule, Reedsburg Area High School should have its new fitness facility built and ready to go before the end of 2020.
Construction of the new $3 million fitness facility at the high school began in mid-June. According to Reedsburg Area High School athletic director Bryan Yager, there have been no issues so far a month into the construction portion of the project.
“We’ve got about a month (of construction) under our belt and everything is going along as planned,” Yager said. “There have been no hiccups even though we had some torrential rain. Most of the groundwork and concrete footings are being laid right now.”
Yager said the current timeline, barring any setbacks, should see the fitness facility construction completed before Christmas of this year. Though so much of the world has been upended and things drastically altered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it did not cause any delays for this particular project.
“It really didn’t affect the project because most of the early pandemic times were during the planning process with the architects and the bid packages with all the subcontractors and stuff,” Yager said. “So it didn’t really affect the actual construction timeline.”
The fitness facility will provide roughly 5,000 square feet of space — about the size of a small gymnasium, Yager noted — on the first floor. The second floor will be a multipurpose room of the same size that will be used for a variety of sports and uses, including wrestling practice, track practice and workout space for physical education classes.
While athletic teams will obviously use this new fitness facility, Yager stressed that its main purpose is to expand the possibilities for physical education classes that will reach a wide array of students — athletes and non-athletes alike.
“Our fitness center, you might think would be more geared toward athletics, but it’s really not,” Yager said. “One of the huge driving forces behind it was to be able to expand our phy ed curriculums, to provide more facilities for health and wellness and strength and conditioning for our phy ed classes.”
The beginning of the construction phase is a long time coming for a project that’s been in the works for a while now. The Reedsburg Athletic Club began fundraising efforts for the project two years ago and were ultimately able to raise over $200,000 to go toward the $3 million price tag.
“It’s been a really great process,” Yager said. “And because of the dual role of it providing services not only to our phy ed curriculum but to our athletic programming, it was supported by our school board. That’s why we’re getting it.”
The two-story fitness center is being added to the south side of the high school toward the football field. It’s still months away from construction being completed and it could be longer than that before it’s available to be used for its intended purposes given all the unknowns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. But whenever that day finally comes where it’s ready to go, Yager believes it’ll be an invaluable resource to a wide student populace.
“I just want to stress that I think it’s going to be an amazing resource — not only an academic resource but obviously a no-brainer athletic resource for our kids,” Yager said. “It’s going to touch a lot of kids’ lives. It’s not only going to make them bigger, stronger and faster, it’s going to make them healthier. And that was our goal from the start.”
Follow Zach Rastall on Twitter @zrastall17 or contact him at 608-697-7943.
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