Smithville High opens $10.1 million activity center

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. (KCTV) – Students at Smithville High School are officially training at their brand new $10.1 million activity center.

The project started in May 2021 and ended last May. It is funded by a $15 million bond approved in 2020.

Some children trained at the facility over the summer – but for others, the first day of school this week marked the first time they saw it in person.

“Just big eyes, looking around, you know – ‘Damn, this is so much better than the old space,'” said Taylor Middleton, head wrestling coach and assistant football coach. “We just want to make sure they realize how grateful they should be. We talk a lot about gratitude, the blessings that we have to be in an establishment in this way, and I think it shows in the way they treat it, the respect they have for the establishment and their peers here in the training groups.

Jason Ambroson, head football and strength and conditioning coach, says the bodybuilding program has grown so much over the years that they had to start turning away students last year who wanted to enroll because they didn’t have the space.

About 600 of the school’s 900 students are taking part in a strength training class this year.

“The kids developed this program until we said no to the kids in our old weight room. So there was a need,” Ambroson said. “It’s not just for athletics. It’s for everyone. It’s for every kid. It’s for anyone who wants to gain weight, lose weight, feel more mobile, feel a little better about themselves, developing life skills, whatever they are looking for.

The facility includes 20 custom power racks, a 30 meter turf, iPads for personalized workout access, Power platesand a wrestling room upstairs.

“We’re going to be able to provide opportunities for our robotics team, our cheerleaders, our dance team, our color guard — because a lot of those teams have to work at 6 a.m. to get space from gym, or 8 p.m. — and now they’re going to have opportunities,” Ambroson said.

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