Inside Alta High's new fieldhouse, a year-round indoor home for athletics
Nov 18, 2019 03:49PM
● By Ron Bevan
Alta athletic director looks over the field inside the new fieldhouse at Alta High School. The fieldhouse gives the school year-round access to an outside-type surface so athletes can keep sharp on all types of sporting events. (Ron Bevan/City Journals)
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
The landscape at Alta High has been drastically changing over the last few years. But as everyone eyes the large theater being built on the northwest corner, another structure has risen behind the school, a structure that should ease practice burdens on the school.
Alta is one of the first schools in the state to complete a fieldhouse, capable of allowing multiple different sports to practice year round. The field boasts a 50-yard by 30-yard artificial turf with grid lines for football, allowing the team to practice with actual line markers when outdoor practicing may be impossible.
“It is as wide as the football field and one third its length, so it is enough to get some good workouts in football,” Alta Athletic Director Morgan Brown said. “But it is built so many different sports can use it. We anticipate nearly every sport but possibly basketball and volleyball will use this facility at one time or another.”
Not only will the football, soccer and lacrosse programs make use of the fieldhouse, but even baseball, softball, golf and track can find a use inside.
“There is a batting cage that lowers down from the ceiling,” Brown said. “We have netting around the entire facility so there won’t be damage when hitting or throwing different balls. And the netting on one side has smaller mesh so we can hit golf balls into it.”
The track team has already reserved time, as has the lacrosse teams.
“The track team used to get in shape during the winter by running in our school hallways, which are concrete,” Brown said. “We got shin splints like crazy so this is going to be helping on that.”
But it isn’t just for the athletic teams. Alta’s physical education program is already sending classes into the fieldhouse for exercises.
A need for a new facility at Alta has grown for decades. Although the school’s gymnasium sports three full-size basketball courts, demand for time in the facility had reached peak capacity. Not only is the gym used for both Alta boys and girls basketball games, but wrestling matches and youth basketball games as well.
“The biggest thing we were having problems with was scheduling our gyms during the winter months,” Brown said. “Between girls and boys basketball practices and games, wrestling and AAU youth basketball, it was being over used. All of our outdoor sports were also using it for winter practices. We were having conflicts trying to get everyone into our gym to get practice time. Now we can use the gym for basketball and wrestling and the rest can use this facility. We actually thought of building a second gym, but we decided to do this instead because it would give us the outdoor surface.”
Work on the facility began one year ago, and was completed in mid-September of this year. It includes an upstairs viewing area where coaches can watch and give instruction to their teams. There is also a large meeting room upstairs for team meetings as well as banquets and even school AP testing. Concession stands were built downstairs with state-of-the-art equipment, and there is even a referee room to keep separated from the teams.
Outside, the facility sports a giant hawk logo overlooking the football field, and another hawk looking to the east.
“It is definitely an eye catcher from the stadium during games,” Brown said.