MOUNT VERNON — The construction of the new fieldhouse and the other projects at Mount Vernon High School is under way, but a solid completion date has yet to be set due to some unforeseen circumstances that include the weather.
“Completion date is a bit of a fluid target date,” said Justin Sanford, the athletic director for MVHS. “With the summer rain that’s delayed construction, we are now shooting for mid to late May for completion of the field house. The bus garage will be completed a bit sooner than Yellow Jacket Drive, but both projects are dependent upon the temperatures. Realistically, we are hoping for an early June completion of our projects.”
Sanford also spoke about the progress of each of the projects.
“The concession and stadium entry is complete with a few aesthetic improvements yet to be completed. The fieldhouse is progressing; roofing will be completed this week, then masonry will begin on the interior and exterior walls. Once the masonry is complete, they will be able to pour the concrete floor, which is the most critical, to try and get this accomplished prior to the deep freeze of the winter temperatures,” he said.
“The bus garage is ready for steel and masonry. This will take place as soon as the roofing for the fieldhouse is complete.”
“Yellow Jacket drive extension is moving along. There is drainage that needs completed here in the next few weeks, then the hope of getting at least a base coat of pavement put down before the temperatures fall below the limits of laying pavement.”
The origins of the fieldhouse project (which is the most important of the various Education Gateway projects) go all the way back to 25 years ago when the concept of the new fieldhouse had been started and stopped on three different occasions.
“The community, boosters, and school has recognized this need for some time. It’s only now that we are able to get the team of boosters, administration, and community partners together to make this a reality,” Sanford said.
The process of funding this project implemented exclusively the use of fundraising and the accumulation of private contributions and donations.
“The Jackets Boosters made a pledge that we wanted to complete this project without the use of any tax payer dollars. We are nearing our goal. For this community of supporters, donors, businesses and alumni to step up and complete a project of this scale 100 percent privately is a monumental achievement.”
Once the fieldhouse is completed, the space will not only be used for MVHS sporting events and activities, but also sporting events and activities for the wider MVNU and Mount Vernon community.
“(The fieldhouse) will be a hub for athletics and recreation in the Mount Vernon community. We will be home to one of the few indoor track and field spaces in this state, and combined with the additional field space that MVNU is constructing, will be able to bring teams, programs and tournaments into the Mount Vernon area that puts heads in beds and guests into our businesses and community. This facility will greatly benefit the current and future students and programs of Mount Vernon Schools, but also the broad community of Mount Vernon and Knox County.”
If anyone in the community is interested in how they can be a part of this project or how they can donate to this project, they are encouraged to contact Sanford at 614-580-0900.
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