SMITHVILLE – For more than a year, the Warrior Activity Center has been under construction north of the Smithville School District Athletic Field near Commercial Avenue.
JE Dunn’s Senior Project Manager Brad Hokanson said the project is nearing the finish line. The center is expected to open at the end of the month.
During a recent construction tour, workers were busy protecting the football team’s training ground on the first floor. The grass-covered space will allow for biometric exercises, said executive director of support services Robert Hedgecorth.
“There are five overhead doors that can be opened here on this workout space to allow fresh air in,” Hedgecorth said. “We also have soundproofing in the ceiling between the two floors.”
Painting and plumbing were progressing at a breakneck pace.
“Previously, we took the plumbing crew out for two weeks due to COVID-19, staff and other illnesses,” he explained. “There were even labor shortages, but we were able to meet the task and the budget.
The top tier includes wrestling mats that will be used by middle and high school teams. There are also offices for coaches, restrooms and access to a concession area.
“The upper part of the gymnasium is where the current wrestling area is and it’s not conducive for the team,” Hedgecorth said. “This space, however, will find a new use.”
One aspect that has been detrimental in the old gymnasium is the lack of accessibility of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The new facility will, however, have a limited-use elevator for those who need it. Hedgecorth said usage will be limited so students who don’t need it don’t abuse it.
Unfortunately, the former Warrior Plaza S could not be saved, but before demolition the team obtained measurements using a drone. A new square will be part of the building plot.
The new building will help make the weight room more accessible since the classes attract more than half of the secondary school population. There will also be dressing rooms for visiting teams with the new project. Visiting teams currently use a track storage shed.
Hokanson said JE Dunn has worked with the district on other buildings, including Eagle Heights and Maple Elementary Schools, as well as the high school common area and is proud to know that the buildings are designed for “everyday work.” .
“We create spaces for students and teachers,” he said. “The idea is to see spaces used with children pushed in their respective activities.”
Hokanson said he enjoyed the connective nature of the high school and middle school complex.
“The chance to see students move from this space to the field will be impressive,” he explained. “It was a difficult project location-wise, but now it fits here on this campus.”