New campus a positive step for Grand Valley HS sports
PARACHUTE – With a brand-spanking-new campus ready to open, Grand Valley High School athletes are like tots waiting to open Christmas presents.
They can hardly wait to see what’s inside.
After enduring team practices for the next two weeks at the high school’s present 60-year-old-plus facility, it’s easy to understand why Cardinal athletes are anxiously awaiting to use the new buildings and practice fields.
When the facility opens on August 27, the first day of classes, members of Grand Valley’s fall sports teams will have a practice area of their own.
That’s a complete turn-around from what Grand Valley had to work with in the past.
Building of the new campus, that abut against Interstate 70, was started after Parachute residents passed a $12 million school-bond issue.
According to owner represenative, Steve Brubaker, a retired Garfield County School District 16 teacher, who oversaw construction for the school district, the new campus, by written contract, had to be completed in 12 months.
Grand Valley High will have an enrollment of 200 students for the 2002-03 school year.
Brubaker said the campus can accomodate 425 students and, if student growth continues, can be expanded to 650 with the addition of two classroom pods.
And the new campus was planned to allow Grand Valley to field a wrestling team for the first time in school history.
Starting this winter, wrestlers will be wearing Cardinal colors, instead of traveling to nearby Rifle High School to participate in the sport.
Brubaker pointed out that part of the outdoor plant includes practice fields for a soccer team, plus a softball diamond.
The crown jewel of the athletic venues is a lighted football field that can seat 1,000 spectators, and its adjoining all-weather track.
The new stadium allows the football team to host games on its own field, instead of traveling to antiquated Callahan Field.
The track gives runners a place to run.
Before construction of the new facility, Grand Valley’s track team had to workout on the asphalt-paved street in front of the old campus.
The track gives those athletes a place to run.
The Cardinal baseball team has a field of its own too.
That facility is almost complete. The field currently has no grass, but will be hydroseeded by the school’s maintenance staff prior to next spring.
And after years of making-do at the former campus’s tiny gym, the volleyball and basketball teams finally have some room to maneuver.
The new campus sports two full-sized gymnasiums. The main gym seats 800 and can be divided into two courts by a partition high in the building’s rafters.
An auxiliary gym can be utilized for practices and/or games. Brubaker said the aux. gym, when portable bleachers are brought in, can seat 200 spectators.
Other amenities Grand Valley athletes will have available to them when the new campus opens is a full-sized weight room.
The peripheral units that go along with athletics have gotten a boost as well.
One large-sized room has been set aside for the newly-created band program.
“We want to make every reason to have the students enjoy staying here on the new campus,” Brubaker said.
The students also had a hand in designing the new plant.
They presented a “wish list” to the school board prior to the start of construction.
Some of those ideas have been incorportated into the campus buildings.
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