MASON CITY — Mason City high schools new athletic facilities opened its doors Tuesday and offered a glimpse of the variety of benefits to student athletes, coaches and the community as a whole will receive.
After years of proposals, funding and construction Mason City now has three new additions to the high school they can call home. The fieldhouse, weight room and natatorium offer up to date equipment and facilities for the teams of Mason City high school to host events and practices.
“It’s been a really rewarding process just to see it all come together,” girls’ basketball and volleyball head coach Curt Klaahsen said. “To see original designs and the ideas that came from coaches, community members and athletes. To see the final product done and completed it’s very rewarding for all of us.”
Klaahsen is also the co-activities coordinator and said that the plan is to also open the door to opportunities for youth and national tournaments, considering the size of the new pool and fieldhouse. Along with the pool is added seating, which can now hold up to 470 spectators.
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“It’s gonna be unusual for the spectators to be this close but the view is awesome.” head coach of the swim team Steve Hugo said
The swim team used to compete at John Adams Middle School and according to Hugo most people would end up having to stand during events.
“If you got there an hour early you got to sit on the bleachers,” Hugo said. “Otherwise it was standing room only around the pool.”
Head coach of the boys’ basketball team, Nick Trask, mentioned how one of the biggest things for him is being able to now watch all of his teams practice and host games in the same building. The fieldhouse is capable of holding six basketball games at once.
“They’re gonna get better coaching with all my staff working with all levels,” Trask said. “It’s also really nice because during game days we have to send three of our teams over to Lincoln, across town. So, I don’t get to watch many of my ninth and tenth grade home games, now I can walk back and forth to be able to see those.”
Trask noted that Mason City was the last CIML team to have an auxiliary gym connected to the campus, which was hard for him to believe. The fieldhouse also features a six lane 200-meter track and space for field events.
Head football coach of the Riverhawks Josh Reuter explained that the weight room is a total game changer for all students, not just the athletes. Students can now earn P.E. credits during the day using the weight room whereas prior their opportunities were limited.
“Our kids used to have to come in before school and lift, so we’re talking 6:00 or 6:30 a.m.,” Reuter said. “We’ve now transitioned to doing this in the school day with something we call “Performance P.E.’”
The weight room is also open for students to use after school and for all teams during the summer.