This artistic rendering shows what the new Triad High School athletic complex is projected to look like with a final completion timeline of spring 2021. (Image submitted)
The Triad Cardinals’ outdoor athletic facilities can leave a lot to be desired.
The football field has a heavy crown down the middle and dim lighting.
The absence of an up-to-date track leaves the Cardinal track and field team without a home.
All that is about to change with the recent passage of a 1.75 mill bond and a .25 mill permanent improvement levy.
The bond and levy passed with ease across three counties, Union, Logan and Champaign, during the election earlier this month.
Of the 1,167 voters within the district who cast ballots, 57.5% were in favor of the bond.
“We’re really excited, we’re ecstatic,” superintendent Vickie Hoffman said.
Newly-arrived athletic director Logan Dunn said when he came on the scene, he was somewhat shocked by the fact there was no track.
“As an outsider, I remember coming here as a coach and looking at their facilities,” he said. “I was in awe of the fact that they didn’t have a track.”
With the passing of the bond and levy, the Triad staff has some big plans for the current athletic facilities.
Dunn said the school wants to first focus on the football field, where they will grade the field to make the playing surface level.
It will also be reseeded with updated lights to make it a safer atmosphere for student-athletes.
“For our football athletes it is going to be about safety,” Dunn said. “Our field is unlevel, making it a tough playing surface.
“I think updating that so we have a safe playing surface for our student-athletes as well as our visitors is our first priority.”
Concurrently, a new field house will be added to the complex to provide locker rooms, a community room, weight room and a Hall of Fame room to showcase Triad athletics.
Dunn said the weight room will be huge for Triad athletics compared to the current set-up.
“Our weight room currently is shared with the wrestling room,” said Dunn. “Before the wrestling team comes in and uses it for their season, it is a suitable place for student-athletes to work out.”
Dunn said with the addition of an independent weight room, athletes would be able to have an all-season program.
“I think if this school wants to be competitive year-in and year-out in the Ohio Heritage Conference we’ve got to make sure we give our student-athletes the best opportunity to have success,” he said. “An independent weight room is a great start.”
The school also plans for the community room to be opened for public use as well.
“The addition of a community room, which will be used by a variety of student organizations, can be rented by local residents for birthday parties or other events,” said Hoffman.
Along with the new addition of the field house, Triad athletes will have an eight-lane track around the football field.
That will allow Triad to host meets. Dunn said the addition of the track will open up some opportunities for the Cardinals.
“Having an eight-lane track on campus is going to allow us to expand the program and showcase our student athletes,” he said. “Our student athletes have had success in track and field and they are not able to showcase that at home in front of their community.
“I think this is something that will be a great opportunity for them.”
Hosting a track invitational is what Dunn has in mind once the project is completed.
Along with the improvements to Triad athletics, residents will get to keep some money in their pockets. The bond will eliminate the $60 pay-to-participate fee for each student-athlete each season.
Now that the bond has passed, the district will open the project for the bidding process in January, according to Dunn.
Once a contractor is hired, Triad is looking to complete the project in phases with the first phase – the football field and field house- to be completed in time for the Cardinals to host their first home game in Week 2 of 2020 gridiron season.
Phase two of the project – the installation of the track – has a timeline of a spring 2021 completion in time for that season.
“We play Buckeye Central during Week 2 of the 2020 season and currently the plan is to play them here,” said Dunn. “That will be the first game on our new field.”
“That is going to be an exciting atmosphere that I can’t wait to be a part of.”
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