Despite the four natural disasters Sharp County has seen in the past year and the failing economy, the new Highland activity center is on schedule according to Highland Superintendent Ronnie Brogdon.
"As you can see passing by, the roof is completely on," Brogdon said. "They are putting up metal studs for the walls and the panels are expected to be here by the end of March, so walls will be going up soon."
Brogdon said the new facility is going to be a great addition, not only to the school, but to the community. The center will be able to seat more than 2,000 people, which will make it possible for the school to host tournaments.
"The bleacher forms are being welded right now, and as soon as that is finished they will come in and fill each form with three inches of concrete," Brogdon said. "The only bid not filled is that of bleacher seating. We will visit that in our April board meeting."
Brogdon said the center should be finished by the end of August. "It will definitely be ready to use by next year," Brogdon said.
"The only thing we have seen so far that could be considered a set back was funding, but that's always an issue," he said. "We were able to match the facility with available funds, so we are full steam ahead."
Brogdon said anything that is held at the center will bring dollars to the community. "We are approved for the state basketball tournament, which will bring many people from all over the state."
With a projected budget of $5.5 million the activity center will be state of the art. "It will be top of the line with six dressing rooms, four offices, a training room and weight room, referee rooms, two concession stands and four large restrooms," Brogdon said. "The facility will be two stories with a bowl setting."
But, games aren't the only thing Brogden said he is planning to host in the new center. "We will be able to host concerts as well," he said. "It will also give us an option for when weather does not permit us to hold events on the football field."
Brogdon said in the months to follow passers-by will be able to see the progress being made. "The electrician and heating and air people have already been working on the building," Brogdon said.
A grand opening event is already scheduled for the new activity center. "The first week of the basketball season, next year, we will be hosting a classic," Brogdon said. "We have already had enough schools commit that we will be holding at least 25 games over the week."
Brogdon said he knows everyone is excited for this new center and he is sure it will meet the expectations that have been set for it.