Featuring a 200-meter indoor competition track, long jump and pole vault pits, four full multi-purpose courts and court markings for multiple sports and activities, the Warsaw Community High School Tiger Recreation and Activity Center had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. While WCHS students got to hold and cut the ribbon for the TRAC, also present were representatives of K21 Health Foundation, 1st Source Bank, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Warsaw Common Council, Warsaw Police Department, Warsaw School Board of Trustees past and present and school officials. Photo by David Slone
Featuring a 200-meter indoor competition track, long jump and pole vault pits, four full multi-purpose courts and court markings for multiple sports and activities, the Warsaw Community High School Tiger Recreation and Activity Center had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. While WCHS students got to hold and cut the ribbon for the TRAC, also present were representatives of K21 Health Foundation, 1st Source Bank, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, Warsaw Common Council, Warsaw Police Department, Warsaw School Board of Trustees past and present and school officials. Photo by David Slone
Featuring a 200-meter indoor competition track, long jump and pole vault pits, four full multi-purpose courts and court markings for multiple sports and activities, Warsaw Community Schools had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for the high school’s Tiger Recreation and Activity Center.

Before students cut the ribbon on the $10 million facility, WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert recognized the various groups in attendance. Those groups included students, WCS officials and past and present school board members, K21 Health Foundation, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, 1st Source Bank.

“It’s a community facility, but we’re so excited for what is happening with our students,” he said.

There was also a dedication for the K21  Fitness Track. “They were huge sponsors, being able to make this facility happen,” Hoffert said.

One of the classrooms in the TRAC was named the 1st Source Room.

“1st Source also was a huge donor that made this facility happen as well,” Hoffert said.

Both K21 and 1st Source were given a round of applause for their gifts.

“This definitely would not have happened without some incredible collaboration with some very great people in the construction world. We worked with Fanning Howey as the architects. Weigand Construction is the boots on the ground,” Hoffert said as both the architects and construction company were applauded.

He recognized current and past board members who got the project started.

“A huge thank-you to everybody for making this dream possible because this is something that is going to just be an incredible asset to our community,” Hoffert said.

He mentioned the first “big” community event in the TRAC will be held next weekend and a number of facility rentals are already scheduled for weekends.

After the ceremony and tours, Hoffert mentioned that there are other sponsorship opportunities available with the facility, including the naming of the TRAC itself.

He also gave a special thanks to WCS Director of Buildings and Grounds Jim LeMasters, Assistant Director of Maintenance Sam Cook and Terry Engle, who handles the security and wiring for WCS. Hoffert said the three men invested so much time and pride into the facility and worked with Weigand Construction and Fanning Howey to make sure the TRAC was a state-of-the-art facility.

LeMasters gave a tour of the facility to those who were interested. He noted it’s patterned after Center Grove High School’s.

The sound system has Bluetooth capability for music, which is located in a storage room and has limited access. A garage door on one end of the facility will allow for loading and unloading equipment.

The walls are pre-cast concrete, with each panel three-fourths of an inch short of 12 feet.

The K21 Fitness Track has a rubber surface – not carpet like some people think – similar to what is used at the Olympics, he said.

The pole vault pit and long jump pit are on the opposite ends of the TRAC. They can be raised up from under the flooring for full indoor track events. Sand will eventually be in the long jump pit.

The volleyball nets drop down from the ceiling so there’s no nets to store. The courts have rubber underneath the flooring to give players a little bounce.

“We tried to think ahead instead of behind,” LeMasters said.

With more courts, the sports teams don’t have to alternate between early and late practices for gym access. Practices can be held at the same time.

There’s a handicapped-accessible lift next to the bleachers. The seats in the bleachers are plastic and don’t retract into the wall, but can seat up to 400.

There are 24 basketball goals total, some facing east and west and some north and south.

The TRAC can have 3,000 people in it at one time.

Offices, bathrooms and storage spaces are along the hallway. There’s a concession stand area, along with Warsaw Area Career Center offices. The hallways are bigger for teams to gather before or after competitions.

The entryway to the TRAC is secure, and a school resource officer office is next to the entryway.

“For the money we spent, we got a lot,” LeMasters said.

From the TRAC, the Career Center, Tiger Den and pool are just down the hall.

LeMasters said Lady Tiger Basketball Coach Lenny Krebs will do the even scheduling for the TRAC.

Due to budget limitations, he noted there’s a little left to be completed on two bathroom walls and fixtures and classrooms along the hallway.

“I think it will get used a lot. It turned out well,” LeMasters said of the TRAC.