Local News: Cape School Board moves forward with plans for new athletic facility (11/25/22) | #Education

The Cape Girardeau Public Schools central administrative offices as seen on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.

Sarah Yenesel ~ sarahy@semissourian.com

During a Cape Girardeau School District Board of Education meeting Monday, Nov. 21, members authorized superintendent Neil Glass to negotiate a contract with Brockmiller Construction to build an indoor training and locker room facility at Central High School.

Districts documents say the proposed indoor facility is a much-needed addition to the high school campus. Since the construction of the high school in 2001, the athletic teams and coaches have needed additional space to adequately support their programs.

“When we built the high school, we were outside the budget and we had to pare that down quite a bit,” Glass said at the board meeting. “As a result, it left us at a disadvantage for some of our athletic programs. We’re now in a financial position where we can bring some of those cuts back.”

Preliminary plans for the new facility show space for an indoor field the length of half a football field. Another part of the building shows locker rooms for football, soccer and girls track as well as a training room and offices for coaches.

The new facility will be built beside Central High School’s stadium, in the green space east of the visitors’ bleachers.

Glass said there is a correlation between building new facilities and the success of an athletic program.

“Shortly after we built the stadium, we went to the state football championship,” Glass said. “So, there’s no doubt, some of those things pay off. When you’re starting to build programs and cultures, you’re really trying to promote athletics as an extension of your academics.”

Glass stated that Central High School currently has 24% participation in athletics compared to the national average of 57% (according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study).

“So, we have a ways to go,” Glass said. “I don’t think there’s any argument that athletics plays a big part in a majority of students lives. We want to connect with all students, and I think this is a big step forward in building the cultures.”

Glass said the facility will benefit other schools in the district as well as the community.

“We’re embracing elementary school athletic programs to build “Tiger Pride” and to make a connection and utilize it as a behavior and attendances tool,” Glass said. “This facility will be used not only for the high school but for the community programs and practices for youth league programs.”

Glass said this facility is another piece of the district’s comprehensive vision to support their athletic programs.

“We’re just trying to support our kids, our coaches, our programs and ultimately the school district and the community,” he noted.

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