Mason City High School’s fieldhouse ready for athletes this school year

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(ABC 6 News) – Every school athletics department is different. Some have just enough space for athletes, but then there are places like Mason City High School where the students outgrew the gym space. The district is solving that problem with a brand new field house.

“The comparison is not comparable,” said Josh Reuter, the Head Football Coach, and a P.E. Teacher at Mason City High School.

The project is a few years in the making. Students now have access to a new track, basketball courts, and a swimming pool. As well as a weight room twice the size of the old one.

“We had an older pool over at John Adams Middle School that has seen better days. It was maintenance-wise getting really tough to keep up,” said Superintendent Pat Hamilton of Mason City Community Schools.

Maintenance was an issue as well as limited court space. Hamilton says it was the other main issue especially when making sure there is enough space for students to participate.

“One of the struggles as a coach was finding time to do everything. You know, teach, coach, and open a weight room, they just become really long days. So it’s really nice the kids get to do it during the school day. It takes some of that time off the coaches’ plate,” added Reuter.

Sophomore Lashawn Dunson says he likes the new space.

“This is pretty useful. Convenient. You don’t have to go to Planet Fitness or anything. It means a lot they show they care about their athletes and stuff.”

The new facility costs about $25 million and is paid for by the Iowa SAVE tax. A sales tax every county collects that goes back to the state.

Superintendent Hamilton explained how the rest of the project was funded: “All the scoreboards, everything in the facilities, the actual equipment students use was raised by a group called the Future is Now.”

The future for new classes like “Outdoor Pursuits.” Teaching skills like kayaking and canoeing. There are also hopes of adding a lifeguarding course next semester.

There are no plans to completely renovate the original high school gym and football field. Although they will receive new scoreboards in the next year or so.