Field house facility gets go ahead at GHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007

The quest to improve the athletic facilities at Greenville High School took another positive step Wednesday as Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney approved the initial plans for building a field house/indoor practice facility.

Looney met with the architect firm of Goodwin, Mills and Cawood, Greenville head football coach Bryant Vincent and Greenville Principal Kathy Murphy Thursday for about an hour to discuss details of building a field house/indoor practice facility at Greenville High School and Looney gave the architect firm the &#8220go ahead” to proceed with drawing up the plans for the facility.

In addition to the indoor facility, plans are underway to build a track around the existing practice field behind Greenville High School while also resurfacing the practice field.

As the plans have it now, the field house/indoor facility would be built at the east end of the practice field.

The initial plans for the indoor facility has the building with two stories which include a 25-yards x 35-yards practice field, a head coaches office, offices for the assistant coaches, offensive and defensive meeting rooms, a coaches locker room, a media room, two equipment rooms, a locker room, a trainer's room, showers and toilets and a balcony overlooking the practice field.

&#8220Overall, I think it is going to be as good of a field house as there is,” Vincent said. &#8220It's going to be a first-class facility, no doubt.”

Following the meeting, Looney said just moving into the planning and drawing phase is a big step for Butler County.

Although the costs cannot be determined exactly until the planning and drawing phase is complete, the initial estimate for the indoor facility, track and field improvements combined is $2 million.

Due to the recent sales tax increase in Butler County, money for the project would come from state-issue bond funds while the tax money would go towards construction of the new Georgiana High School and improvements at all the other county schools.

Once the plans are complete, which should be done by August, the Board would need to approve them before construction could begin.

Construction would take approximately eight months.

&#8220Our athletic programs cannot be any better than our facilities,” Looney said. &#8220Coach (Vincent) has articulated how important it is that they have adequate facilities to continue the growth of the program.”

&#8220This would be monumental for those players, the coaches and this community,” he added.

Vincent said the support and commitment he has gotten from Looney and the Butler County Board of Education has far exceeded his expectations and he said he is extremely excited about the possibility of the indoor facility being built.

&#8220I'm extremely excited and rather surprised at the pace things are going,” Vincent said. &#8220It is amazing to me the things Mr. Looney and the Board of Education have been able to do just within a year.”

&#8220Mr. Looney and the Board of Education have a vision and I think they are bound and determined to make that vision a reality,” he added.

Looney said he has a vision for the near future of Butler County athletics, but he also has a vision for the distant future.

&#8220My commitment is this: I want to give as much flexibility and choice to future boards and superintendents,” Looney said. &#8220If and when the time comes (to build a stadium), I want to make sure this won't be money wasted.”

And it is that commitment that has Vincent excited about the future of Greenville athletics.

&#8220I've never had a board and administration attack things and go after them like this board does,” Vincent said.