Grand Valley gets athletic facility upgrades
Thanks to a $30 million bond signed in the fall of 2015, the Grand Valley school district is going through a large number of improvements for facilities this summer. Through that bond, the Grand Valley football field, track and baseball field will see marked improvements this coming season.
Throughout the summer the school tucked along the Colorado River on Cardinal Way has undergone many changes, including many improvements to the athletic facilities that will now rival some of the best on the Western Slope.
Going from grass to artificial turf, the football field is an impressive display of these improvements, while the track is brand new. Upgrades on the irrigation system for the practice fields were included, as well as upgrades to the baseball field. Along with that, the visiting side of the stadium will now have rest room facilities, as well as a concession stand so that fans don’t have to walk the entire way around the track to get snacks and drinks.
While in the process of making the upgrades to the facilities, athletic director Dave Walck — who leads the facilities board for the school district — realized that the school needed to upgrade the locker rooms due to size restrictions among other things. Unfortunately, the upgrade to the locker rooms wouldn’t fit under the budget for facilities, so through the help of the Owner’s Rep and the District Administration, a grant was written to free up some money to build a fieldhouse on the north side of facility between the track and high school, where there will be more space for the locker rooms.
The fieldhouse won’t be connected to the school itself due to structure issues, but it will provide the student-athletes with changing rooms for sports, as well as for officials for games.
According to Walck, the fieldhouse won’t be completed in time for football season, but it should be finished in December in the middle of basketball and wrestling season.
“We had all the plans and everything drawn up for the fieldhouse, but once we started the process we realized we wouldn’t have enough money for it,” Walck said. “Once we got the extra money for it, we were able to get the project started. There’s going to be so many upgrades to our school system this year.”
The work on the athletic facilities started right after the conclusion of football season, so workers have been tearing up the ground around Grand Valley High School for about 10 months now. However, the hard work is finally showing a clear picture of just what the Cardinals set out to accomplish with the upgrades as the football field stands out to travelers along I-70 heading east and west.
“Obviously I’m overjoyed at the prospect of these new facilities for this program,” Walck said. “A friend of mine put it to me best, saying it’s great to see all this hard work put towards academics and student achievements, and now you’re giving these kids and this community a reward for all their hard work with these new facilities. When he said it to me it kind of summed my feelings up in a nutshell. I’m really happy to see this as a great extension of what we’re trying to do at our everyday work at Grand Valley High School and Garfield 16. It’s so nice to see the community notice this and help reward us with these great facilities.”
Completion of the track and field facility will happen in the first week of August, which will be just in time for the start of football camp on Aug. 15. The Cardinals will open the season Sept. 2 against Vail Christian for the first home football game on the new field.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.