The Schuyler Community Schools Field House has been put to good use since it opened about a year ago.
Members of the community have been able to use the 30,000 square feet of athletic space for a number of activities.
The $1.5 million multipurpose facility includes an artificial turf surface for football and soccer, courts for basketball and volleyball, netting for baseball and a track for walkers and runners.
It's open to both SCS students and the public.
“The field house is a great place for everyone to come work out and practice when the weather is bad,” said Schuyler Middle School Assistant Principal Jesse Zavadil, who serves as co-director of the facility. “There are usually a lot of kids here playing all kinds of sports, not just soccer or basketball. It can be reserved for teams and community sports practices, but if the schools need it at the same time, they have priority over the community.”
“We also want senior citizens of Schuyler to know that they can always walk here,” Zavadil added. “ ... Anyone, it doesn’t matter your age, is welcome to come here and use the field house. It’s a community building after all.”
The field house is open during the school year and throughout the summer.
“Activity is a little slower in the summer, but people still come out,” Zavadil said. “There are maybe 15 people that come out every day in the summer, but winter sees around 50 people.”
A recent Saturday afternoon proved his words true.
Nearly every area of the field house was being used by Schuyler residents of varying ages and athletic abilities.
Kevin Martinez was shooting hoops on his day off from classes at Schuyler Central High School. For the 15-year-old, there aren't many days off from basketball.
“I’ve been playing since I was 1 year old,” he said. “My dad taught me how to play and I never really stopped. When the field house opened up I started coming every single day, even in the summer. I want to be an NBA player in the future, it’s always been my biggest dream, so I will never stop practicing.”
The field house, located next to Schuyler Middle School, hosts a number of physical education classes and team practices for SCS, including the youth basketball program.
“There is expected to be a huge turnout for the team this year,” Zavadil said of the program for kindergarten through sixth-grade students. “This year there are going to be 60 kids in middle school basketball. That's a huge number and us being able to use the field house is going to really help our district build more sport-specific skills. It’ll help the kids be more competitive, too.”
One future SCHS Warrior is Marco Domingo, who brought his friend Wilmer Delgado to the field house to play football.
“We both want to play football next year for school,” Domingo said, "so we come here about once a week to practice passing and catching. We’re really glad the house is here for us all the time. We’re here every day anyway because our school uses this for PE.”
The field house is open to the public 6-9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 1-9 p.m. Sundays. Senior walking hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when school is in session.
An annual pass is $10 for students, $20 for senior citizens and $40 for adults. Schuyler Elementary students can use the facility at no charge if they're accompanied by a paying adult.