The official kickoff to open East Grand Rapids High School's new $12.5 million football field and athletic facility is just weeks away. Once it opens on August 26, East will have the physical capacity and high quality facility to host championship playoff and tournaments in volleyball, swimming, wrestling and track – something they've not been able to do in the past.
The 8,000-square-foot auxiliary gymnasium's lights, floor and spectator seating are installed – just the overhead mechanicals remain. The gym features a Kalwal, a translucent wall that allows daylight into the space and retains the sun's heat.
Elevated seating in the pool area is in place, providing space for an additional 400 spectators. In the new 6,000-square-foot fitness centers everything is complete and awaiting the July delivery of ten core strength training platforms, recumbent bikes, stair steppers, treadmills, dumbbells and 15 multi-joint machines.
"I feel real excited about all of it," says Scott Robertson, athletic director. "I think it's important for people in our community to experience it, to come and watch ball games and make their own judgments. We worked real hard to give the community the most bang for their buck and I think they'll agree that we did a great job investing their money wisely."
Outside, a new field events center with locker rooms, new bleachers and a new press box are amenities that will welcome visiting teams and spectators.
Green features include four banks of energy efficient stadium lighting (instead of six banks of non-energy-efficient lights), and the new turf on the football field is padded with crushed recycled tires.
"There's an aesthetic appeal, it's nice looking in a real classy way," Robertson says. "But the biggest benefit to the whole school system is that we won't need to bump elementary school activities anymore in order to have practice places."
URS designed the facility. Owen Ames Kimball is the construction manager.
Source: Scott Robertson, East Grand Rapids High School
$12.5M East Grand Rapids Schools' athletic facilities upgrades underway at three locations
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].