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Facility Friday: Girls’ $7.8M Hawaii Facility, USI Natatorium, HS Baseball Diamonds in Utah

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Facility Friday

A high school on Hawaii’s island of Oʻahu is getting a new $7.8 million girls' athletic facility that will address Title IX gender equity requirements within two years.

Waipahu High School’s new facility will be 3,800 square feet. Although WHS has separate physical education facilities for the girls’ and boys’ athletic programs, programs currently share an athletic facility.

“This facility will also greatly improve what our athletic trainers can provide to the female student-athletes because of its proximity to the fields of play,” athletic director Stacie Nii said. “We will provide treatment more efficiently to a greater number of students, but also will be able to offer a greater variety of athletic assistance because of future opportunities with the space.”

According to WhiteSpace Architects, its design for the girl’s athletic complex includes a space with locker rooms dedicated to the female athletes, showers, trainers’ facility including a large treatment room, team meeting room, laundry facilities, restrooms and ample storage.

The design will create inclusive restrooms for all genders, including a gender-neutral locker room for a single individual with a shower and bathroom.

“Our project team of women is incredibly honored to design a project that will help bring gender equity to the female athletes at Waipahu High,” said WSA architect and owner Laura Ayers.

Groundbreaking is estimated to begin in late 2022. Construction is expected to take about 16 months. School officials would like the new facility to be open for the 2024-2025 academic year. — KHON-TV 

Usi Natatorium Outside

The University of Southern Indiana recently opened its new natatorium located on the south side of the Screaming Eagles Arena and PAC. The design places the pool below ground level and incorporates upper-deck windows, which allow a birds-eye view of the pool.

“For the natatorium, the inspiration was about controlling the light to accommodate the swimmers and prevent glare from the sun, balanced with creating views from the exterior pathways of the swimmers and activities inside,” design leader for the project John McAllister said. “The building’s form is derived of subtle geometry shifts in the façade to balance light and views while creating a feeling of movement through shadow and texture of the brick.

Usi Natatorium

USI worked with the firm CannonDesign spanning years and multiple phases, with initial work focused on the creation of Screaming Eagles Arena, which opened in 2019. The 4,300-seat venue serves students, faculty, and the community. Along with basketball and volleyball games, the venue can host concerts and graduations ceremonies. The design team used virtual reality models to design the arena and help engage USI donors. People were even able to shoot “virtual hoops” in the model.

McAllister said the second phase of the project elevated USI sports even further: The Screaming Eagles Natatorium was completely rebuilt, and the Physical Activities Center (PAC), attached to the new arena, received a face-lift and a 40,000-square-foot expansion.

“The original project was not an arena. It was going to be just a small addition consisting of two practice courts off of the existing PAC building,” McAllister said. “In lieu of the practice courts, USI wanted us to do a study on a new arena and the ideas took off from there.”

McAllister said the old arena looked like a high school gym, which was not suitable for a university with dreams of reaching Division 1 level. From there, the team came up with a plan to build an arena where the existing natatorium sat, which meant a new pool had to be built in the future.

Interior Usi Natatorium

“With the completion of the Screaming Eagles arena, the natatorium, and the PAC — we are set up for great things in USI athletics,” said Jon Mark Hall, athletic director at USI. “Division 1 is on our minds and as we continue to move forward in that process, these facilities absolutely help in numerous ways. It’s very exciting.” 

In September, the University of Southern Indiana officially marked the opening of the new Screaming Eagles Complex and Aquatic Center with the reveal of a new campus art installation — The Screaming Eagle — and an open house and campus celebration. — CannonDesign, University of Southern Indiana 

Student athletes at Water Canyon High School in St. George, Utah, will begin a new era of Wildcats sports when seasons get underway in 2022.

Nearing completion at the school in Hildale are new softball and baseball diamonds, set to host their first games in the spring.

In the fall, one of the largest capacity 1A football stadiums in Utah will have its first game on a new gridiron.

“This community has never had Friday Night Lights,” Water Canyon athletic director Launa Williams told St. George News. “And now we’re bringing it to them.” 

Water Canyon High School, established in 2016, serves about 330 students.

Previously, the Wildcats fielded teams in boys and girls basketball, volleyball, boys and girls wrestling (although this year it looks like they won’t have a girls wrestling team), cross country and track.

Starting next year, the Wildcats will have a softball, baseball and 11-man football team.

The new fields, in their last stages of construction, are located at the intersection of Utah Street and North Carling Street in Hildale, on the corner opposite the high school itself.

Also on the property is a new career technical education, or CTE, building, with the new athletic fields behind it.

“The sports complex is part of an overall project by the (Washington County) school district,” Showalter said, adding that the CTE building offers students vocational, skill-related classes in welding, wood work, ceramics and graphic arts.

The track around the new football field was completed earlier this year and has already set the scene for memories.

The fields were sodded a month ago, so they are not in use while the new grass takes root. 

“The kids and the community as a whole, it’s been pretty amazing to watch both sides of it take off,” Showalter said, recalling when some of the future Wildcats came in to try on football gear last week.

Showalter and Williams said they are looking for ways to acquire used equipment for all their new sports teams. They are also hiring coaches, offering signage for sponsors and putting together schedules. — St. George News

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