Groundbreaking held for new NU athletic facility


Officials from the North Union School District and village of Richwood conduct for a ground-breaking ceremony to launch construction on a new $3 million athletic facility. Pictured from the left: Todd Wrobleski, Arty Sedgwick, George Showalter, Rita Rubeck Parker, Janel Chapman, Don Ridgway, Reddy Brown, Brian Davis, Scott Maruniak, Nick Hajjar, Brian Nauman, Scott Jerew, Steve Morrsion and a member of the contractor’s company (not identified).

(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

This is an architectural rendition of how the inside of the new athletic facility at North Union High School will be designed.

(Submitted graphic)

Phase two of the new North Union athletic training facility has begun.

Members of the North Union School District, along with Richwood officials, held a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the new work that will immediately begin.

Despite some wet weather this spring, construction crews were able to dismantle and haul away the modular buildings that stood on the site of where the new facility will be built.

The new building, which will be located directly between the field house and the softball diamond, was scheduled for the start of construction on June 17, according to North Union treasurer Scott Maruniak.

However, due to the wet weather, the project is behind schedule.

“Unfortunately with all this rain, it is imposing some issues, but that is everywhere,” Maruniak said. “They (the contractors) were hoping to start on June 17, to actually start laying it out. Their plan was to have the concrete slab all down.”

Once the concrete slab is put in place, the building can start to be put in place.

The new building will be comprised of pre-engineered components and will be designed and built off-site and then delivered to the school for construction. Contractors estimate that the facility will take 200 days to build, putting the facility with a scheduled completion date of April 20, 2020.

“The building is scheduled to be delivered on July 24-25,” said Maruniak. “Once it gets here, it will be erected fairly quickly… probably before school goes back in session.

“It is all the stuff that goes inside that takes a long time.”

The 24,504 square-foot athletic facility will house two full-sized basketball courts that can be changed over to accommodate volleyball, batting cages, a weightlifting room, two locker rooms, two classrooms for reviewing game film and an athletic trainer room.

“All sports will be able to use it,” said Maruniak. “Football can use it and we are going to have cages for baseball and softball. It is a full complex.”

The facility will cost the school district $2.5 million for construction and another $500,000 to furnish the building.

Maruniak said finances for the facility came from a variety of sources.

“The district had some resources already on hand in our permanent improvement fund,” he said. “Memorial Health of Union County gives us so much each year and part of that money has to go towards athletics.

“We have been setting that aside in anticipation of a project like this,” he said. “The support of local community groups such as the North Union Athletic Committee (NUAC) and the North Union Athletic Boosters (has helped), as well as contributions from various community members.

“The rest was financed and will be paid for out of the improvement fund for the remainder (of the cost).”

Despite construction time stretching into the 2020 spring season and the location of the building next to the softball diamond, Maruniak sees little impact on the sport’s season.

“This area is going to be fenced off and will only be accessible for construction,” he said. “There has been some parking there in the past and that is something we will have to address when we get close to those dates.

“As far as any impact on the field itself, no, it will be usable,” said Maruniak. “We are going to put another fence behind the main fence to protect our building from all those girls hitting home runs.”

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