The good news is Warren County High School’s new fieldhouse and wellness center will be in easy walking distance from the main school building, connected to the school by a covered walkway.
The bad news is that walking may be the only way to access the center since the large facility will do away with nearly 70 much-needed parking spaces at the high school parking lot, leaving the campus precariously low on parking.
“Seventy will be a strain,” said WCHS executive principal Jimmy Walker after being told of the loss of parking spaces to make way for the athletic center.
The athletic center comes at an estimated cost of $1.1 million and is part of a $4.9 million school package being done by Upland Design that also includes at $3 million expansion to Irving College School and an $800,000 renovation to Bobby Ray Elementary’s gym. All three projects have hit snags during the early phases of planning but are still going ahead basically on schedule.
The multi-sport complex will be tied in with the school by a covered walkway so students and faculty can go from one building to the other without getting wet when it’s raining.
With the convenience of the complex being right next door to the existing school, Clemow admitted there will be a loss of parking – 68 spots to be exact.
Walker pointed out loss of the spots is not a deal breaker, although any more than 68 spots and things could become critical. Clemow said it may be worse, at least in the short term, as construction will also take up some spots.
The problem had School Board members discussing if there were any places more parking could be found. One idea was to pave a spot nearer to the entry drive on the gym side of the school.
There was also talk of perhaps having the building located more toward the existing ball field complex. However, Clemow pointed to a drawing that showed that spot is being reserved for a future football stadium should Warren County decide to build one on campus, thereby replacing Nunley Stadium next to the middle school.
Clemow said the present design is the best fit for the campus.