MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. – Construction in underway on a brand-new athletic facility at South Umpqua High School after years of fundraising and preparation.
The facility will be used as an auxiliary gym, physical education space, and sheltered indoor athletic practice space when the weather gets bad. It will also provide more space for extra-curricular activities. Staff said it will eventually be fitted with batting cages and nets for baseball and softball practices.
Jeff Johnson, a board member with the South Umpqua School Foundation, said they started fundraising for the project a few years ago. Since then, he said they’ve received more than $100,000 in private community funding to help get the project off the ground.
“I know people have had to have patience to see this project come to completion, but we’re excited to see the finished work,” said Johnson.
Johnson said the project will cost them about $300,000 in total to complete. However, he said they have partnerships with various local banks and community partners to cover the remainder of the costs.
“We got a phenomenal community and a lot of support,” he said. “And it’s a huge boost for our students and school district.”
Students at South Umpqua High School told KEZI 9 News that they’re really excited about the new facility. They said it will be a game changer for student athletes now and in the future.
“It’s kind of hard right now because we’re using the elementary school’s facility,” said sophomore Tatum Kelly, who plays on the school’s softball team. “So it’s differentiated between the teams.”
Right now, there is no set date as to when the project will be completed. However, Johnson said he expects it to be done by this summer.