MITCHELL – The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mitchell “HIVE” facility Tuesday, brought community members together in celebration of the first steps taken in the building of the athletic center.
Mitchell Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Brent Comer said that the new facility gives the school the opportunity to offer classes and programs in a safer way.
“There is a peak level of programs that could be provided for the students and trying to figure out how to offer these programs to them, but most of all it relies on the safety that can now be provided in allowing them a closer building and not having to worry about crossing the street to Emerson Gymnasium for Physical Education classes or wrestling. Being able to provide that for the children and their families is what is most important with this facility,” Comer said.
Mitchell Community Schools Athletic Director Amos Wegner agreed that safety will always remain a top priority, and this facility will provide that.
“Like Dr. Comer expressed, the number one concern is and will always be the safety of the students and those who come to the building. Being able to have everything under one roof allows us to keep an eye on all of our students and watch over them in one facility, and that will prove to be a huge payoff.”
The $9,959,500 facility will include four basketball courts, an indoor above-ground track, drop-down nets to separate areas, pitching lanes, an indoor football area, a weight room, and a wrestling area for everyone in the community to use and enjoy.
“It was great to have the community and for the kids to be here. Every dime of this is for the children and we are getting to provide our kids in Mitchell something that no other kid in the state Indiana will have,” said Comer. “It has been a great thing not only for the school but also for the city of Mitchell. Rarely do you get the chance to make it a dual win, not just for the school, but the city of Mitchell and even Lawrence County.”
Wegner echoed what was said by Dr. Comer, saying that the facility, when it is complete, will be for those in the community to use and enjoy for the foreseeable future.
“We have great athletes in our school, and they understand that this is for them just as much as it is for the community. It is remarkable to have the pieces in place to provide this for our community. It offers an opportunity for those in Kindergarten or those who are graduated to come and enjoy the facility and creates an opportunity to build memories, and we will have the opportunity to provide that.”
The process has been met with some unanticipated delays due to COVID-19 and supply chain woes, but Dr. Comer says that building the new facility is expected to remain on schedule.
“We are a few months behind with the groundbreaking, but we are still looking at a twelve-month to sixteen-month process to complete,” said Comer.
Wegner wants all to know that the community has always been an important aspect to what the Schools have been able to accomplish in its history and that the time is now to show that same love and respect that they have received repeatedly.
“It is time to let the community know that this is not a regime, it’s a community. These steps we are taking are for the community, it’s in the best interest of everybody that will be in the facility. The groundbreaking today shows that the community means so much to us, and it is time we gave back to them.”