Several improvements within the Sweetwater ISD athletic department were discussed at the SISD board meeting on Monday, November 19, notably for the roof of the field house and the Sweetwater Middle School tennis courts.
The presentations were made by the Sweetwater ISD athletic director Shane Mobley and the district's maintenance director Scott Lambert.
The fieldhouse was constructed in 1982 and its roof has not seen any type of improvements since its construction over thirty years ago. As a result, water leaks in the roof and ceiling have been seen in the field house.
Mobley noted that the facility--once considered as strictly being used by the football teams--is a multi-sport area used by all Sweetwater teams, as the district strives to bring all sports together for one, unified athletic program.
Starting at 5:15 a.m. with the girls' powerlifting team, Sweetwater athletes use the facility throughout the entire day. Some teams' use of the fieldhouse overlaps during the school day, and even after school the facility is still in use.
Eighth grade athletes come to the fieldhouse in the morning, while the boys basketball team lifts weights at the fieldhouse, and strength and conditioning takes place for off-season sports as well as for the golf and tennis teams. And since April, signs at the fieldhouse allow the community to come and work out at the fieldhouse.
However, the facility has become a place to be used for more than the weight lifting and dressing rooms. Prior to the school year, around 300 free physicals were given at the fieldhouse.
In addition, the building has been used for the Boy Scouts, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meetings, registration for the past Heart Walk, team meals, Mustang Moms meetings, football devotions and the Sammy Baugh Football Classic.
Over the past Thanksgiving weekend, two playoff football games were held at the Mustang Bowl, in which the fieldhouse was used. Other outside groups have also used the facility as a stopping point on their trips, including Sul Ross University on two occasions and a six-man football team.
As long as a Sweetwater coach is at the facility, the public is welcome to use the fieldhouse, said Mobley.
Photos of the problems with the roof and ceiling were shown to the board in a prepared packet, with tiles even falling in the coaches' offices. With the roof the main concern at the time, other desired renovations--like changes in the rehabilitation room, among others--will have to be put on hold, but the changes will be made at a later date in order to restore the pride back into the fieldhouse.
The process will be a three-phase project: cleaning off the roof, taking down the insulation and spraying polyurethane--similar to a thick truck lining--on the top of the big room, and putting a surface down on the entire roof.
Some early bids point to a range from $70,000 to $106,000, but a 10 to 15 year guarantee is being offered for the roof repairs. Per square foot, the bids run from $4.25/square foot (sq. ft.) to $6/sq. ft. for the roof, and $2/sq. ft to $3.27/sq. ft. for the insulation.
Thus, the board approved for improvements to be made at the fieldhouse, with repairs only to be done for the roof and insulation at this time.
Also discussed were improvements for the middle school tennis courts. The courts are sixteen years old and the surface is cracking out, making the courts unplayable.
While more quotes will be obtained, one quote to completely repair the tennis courts is for $158,000. Later, the windscreens at the courts will be replaced.
Approval was also given to repair the tennis courts at the middle school by the board. For both projects, it was noted that funds are available and the district will not be stretched to cover the costs.
Additionally, the approval for both of these special situations allow for action to be taken, so that more bids can be obtained so that work can begin immediately on the projects.