Long-Awaited Athletic Facilities Closer to Reality


Mia Walter, 10th

Workers work to get the gym under roof before winter.

Olivia Montgomery, Editor-In-Chief

The construction site of the GRC Athletic Facilities is alive with activity, and it is more than the community could have hoped for.

GRC should have the total campus everyone has anticipated, including an over 4,000-seat gymnasium, turf football/ soccer field and track, baseball and softball complex, 6 tennis courts, a large practice field, and an all-purpose fieldhouse by late 2020.

The stadium and track should be complete next summer, the gym by December of 2019, and the total complex by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

However, any time estimates made on the completion of the athletic facilities could fluctuate depending on weather. Obviously, additional rain and an intense winter could push back the finalization of the facilities.

The arrival of the steel trusses for the roof of the gym a few weeks ago has made it possible to get the gymnasium under roof, which will speed up the construction process.

“Once that gets under roof, everybody can come in and do work,” says Clark County Board of Education member Gordon Parido. “We’re hoping the gym will be under roof before the worst of winter.”

The designs for the athletic facilities have incited excitement in Clark County, appearing to deliver anything student athletes, fans, and the community could need.

The floor plans for the GRC Stadium include two tickets stands at the front. Through the entrance will be an open lobby that leads to the field. On either side of the lobby will be two locker rooms for officials, two storage areas, home and visitor locker rooms, and two offices for coaches.

The football complex will also have concession stands and restrooms for both the home and visitors’ side. The visitor and home stands will be on either side of the entrance to the field.

The stadium will not only be used for football but soccer, band, and track and field events as well.

The GRC Arena will feature a team storage area, locker room, and coaching office for each sport: girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, and volleyball. It will also contain an equipment storage area attached to restrooms and changing areas for officials.

The outer areas of the gymnasium will hold a health classroom, ROTC multipurpose area, and a classroom for Arts
and Humanities.

All board members who responded to our email agree the gym will bring new opportunities to both the school and community.

“Not having a gym that could seat all of the student body has certainly limited opportunity for optimal school wide communications and other activities, not to mention, the District not being able to schedule on-time indoor graduations,” says Board of Education Chairman Scott Hisle.

“It’s going to be a big facility and conducive to a lot of different things,” says Parido. “The two end zones in the gym make it really good for tournaments because they are Eruption Zones. The gym will also be great for graduation, concerts, and community events.”

While the gym seems to be the most obvious place among the facilities to hold events, there are opportunities to hold events in the field house and on the football field as well.

Currently, the BG2 and BG3 plans, which hold the designs and expenses for the baseball and softball complex, are in the process of being approved by the Kentucky Department of Education. Once that approval is given, the bidding process will begin for a construction contractor to take on this part of the complex.

This project includes the baseball and softball fields, practice field, and field house. As of now, both the visitor and home sides will have their own set of concession stands and dugouts. The visitor side will have a storage area for the GRC team to keep equipment, while the home side will have an office and changing room.

The field house features two locker rooms, two changing rooms, a training area, and storage spaces. In the center will be a 9,000-square-foot artificial turf area.

“When the Fieldhouse is complete this space could be utilized for a wide variety of activities including football, soccer, baseball, softball, golf, archery, ROTC and band,” said Hisle. “It can also be used by other student organizations that could benefit from an area protected from the cold in not just winter months, but also during inclement weather all throughout the year.”

Although these are the plans for now, changes could be made to the designs during the bidding process, which is expected to begin around late November or early December.

The total complex will not only benefit students and staff of GRC but the community as a whole. While the gym seems to be the most obvious place among the facilities to hold events, there are opportunities to hold events in the field house and on the football field as well.

Establishing the facilities has demanded cooperation and teamwork, but it has paid off in the end.

“It has certainly required a good deal of patience from the community, but taking the time to build this project in phases has allowed the District to build an entire complex that will be one of, if not the finest, of any public high school in the entire state of Kentucky,” says Hisle.

The construction of this athletic complex is unprecedented for Clark County, meaning exciting things are on the horizon for GRC and its community.

“The thing I love about this is this community has never had a complete facility. Ever,” says Parido. “And this is the first time, so we’re basically watching the beginning of a new era.”

There is hope that the new facilities will increase the excitement for athletics at GRC.

“I have no doubt the completed complex will boost school spirit, and I am hopeful that it will improve on-field performance of our athletic teams as well,” says board member Dr. Michael Kuduk.

The complex is also expected to raise the sense of community in Winchester.

“People from the community will come to our school all the time and see our great facilities,” says Parido. “It helps build support for our school and our students.”

Though there is still much progress to be made on the facilities, it is finally coming into view for those, like Parido, who have been there every step of the way.

“My biggest goal, and I tell the architects this all the time, is to be able to stand up stairs in the gym (the front of the gym is going to be all glass) and turn on all the lights across the facilities and sit there and look at all of it completed,” says Parido. “That’s the part I look forward to.”