Starting next week, multiple teams can share a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Greenwood for practices, competitions and games.
The new $4.8 million activity complex, which was constructed on the southeast side of Greenwood Community High School near the other athletic facilities, will provide additional space for the school’s physical education classes as well as more space for other school sports teams and other teams that serve Greenwood students.
The complex features three basketball courts, two with wood floors and one with a rubber surface that can also be used for tennis, a two-lane running track around the courts and a balcony that will be utilized during indoor band practices. Restrooms and concession stands are also accessible from the outside that will be open during baseball and softball games and tennis matches.
Having extra space available was one of the key reasons why Greenwood schools approved the complex, which was built as part of a $43 million project approved by the school board in 2015, which also includes a new $27 million middle school, being built off Averitt Road, and improvements to the heating and air conditioning system at Northeast Elementary School.
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While the court space can and occasionally will be used for high school competition — the Woodmen are hosting freshman boys and girls basketball games against Decatur Central on Jan. 20 — the majority of basketball games and volleyball matches will still take place in the main or auxiliary gymnasiums at the high school.
The complex will primarily be used for physical education classes during the school day and for practices after school — not only for high school teams but for Greenwood’s various youth sports teams as well.
“There will be some additional usage, but the main issue that this was built for was the fact that we didn’t have the gym space for the feeder programs,” assistant superintendent Todd Pritchett said. “That was more the focus why this was done, to take care of ours.”
With the additional court space, some Greenwood teams that had to play all of their league games on the road in the past, such as the elementary teams in the Indy Girls Hoops League, will now be able to play at home.
The facility will be treated the same as other Greenwood school facilities. All school teams and affiliated teams, or ones that include Greenwood students, can use the facility at no cost, school officials said. Other programs can request to use the facilities and could be charged fees.
The activity complex is the centerpiece of an ongoing makeover at the high school, which are being paid for with the money the school district borrowed in 2015, school officials said.
Air conditioning and new lights have already been installed in both the main and auxiliary gyms at the high school, and the swimming pool received new lighting, grandstands and fresh tile on both the ceiling and the pool deck for a cost of $1.4 million.
When basketball season comes to an end, both gym floors will be refinished and repainted, and the lower bleachers in the main gym are expected to be replaced. All of that work should be done before the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Pritchett has not ruled out additional improvements, such as some upgrades in the high school auditorium. How much else ends up getting done will be determined based on how much money is left from the original $43 million that was borrowed, he said.
“Things worked out well for us because our bids came in lower than anticipated, which then provided us the ability to have additional funds to take care of things we really didn’t think we’d be able to take care of. So we’re just in the process of prioritizing and trying to make sure we take care of things across a breadth of activities. Of course, we want to try to do a little something for everybody,” Pritchett said.
Greenwood Community High School will be opening the doors to its new activity complex so the public can take a look inside:
When: 5 to 6 p.m. tonight, before the start of the girls and boys basketball doubleheader against Whiteland.
Where: Activity complex, located on the southeast side of the high school campus