Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
The multi-purpose addition will be approximately 36,000 square feet and will include a competition size court that can be used for basketball or volleyball and divided into two practice courts.
The court will be ringed on the second floor by a three-lane 100-meter indoor running track. There also will be offices for the athletic department, a fitness center and classrooms for physical education.
In addition to being used as a facility for Southland physical education classes and sporting events, the space is also able to convert into a small theater with full audio, theatrical lighting and curtains, according to school officials.
The addition will be utilized by Southland and Matteson School District 162, said Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, chief executive officer of Southland and superintendent of Matteson School District 162.
“This facility will be an asset for our community,” said Dr. Davis. “It will be a space and place where our children can learn, grow and express their gifts athletically and artistically.”Mr. Mark Walczak, District 162’s director of buildings and grounds, said the addition “will also provide a space for large assemblies and banquets among other events.”
The addition is being added to the east wall of the school’s Performing Arts Center which was completed last year. The building is expected to be finished by July 2020, Walczak said.Homer Thomas, Southland’s athletic director, said the field house will mean a lot for the school for athletics as well as academics.
Southland has a nine-hour school day, from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since the school did not have a gym, students were transported to facilities such as the Southland Center in Lynwood, Illinois for practice and home games for basketball and volleyball. Having the gym will mean less travel time and more time for students to study, Thomas said.“We’re going to save basically an hour day,” Thomas said.
“So our students will be able to finish their practices an hour earlier and get home and have more time for study.”
The addition will also provide the stability of having a facility and not having to rely on using other facilities and a better opportunity to develop crowds to see students compete, Thomas said.
“We will be able to get more practices and workouts in. The track will give us an opportunity to run at measured distances,” Thomas said. “We will have an expanded fitness center that will help with athletics and P.E. classes. More rooms will be open for academic classes in the main building which also helps with academics.”