Smithville baseball coach Ben Spann, left, and principal Dr. Chad O’Brian lift the roll-up door to reveal the spacious interior of a new athletic practice facility donated by supporters, most of whom were members of Smithville High School’s Class of 1985. The facility’s interior work is underway to get it ready to use in the months to come.

SMITHVILLE – Smithville Attendance Center is benefiting from donated funds to provide for a new indoor athletics practice facility, which will be called the ‘85 Field House.

“This project began last summer with the first glow ball golf tournament and cookout fundraiser. The majority of the project was privately endowed by supporters, most of whom graduated with the Class of 1985,” said Principal Dr. Chad O’Brian.

He is enthused about the role the facility plays in the school’s athletics programs.

“Sports is a big deal in Smithville, as it is in most other schools. This is a great asset for us, so that we won’t have to go elsewhere for winter practice,” he said.

O’Brian said the $100,000 project is the most recent chapter in the rebuilding effort following the 2011 tornado, which has totaled some $14 million to date.

Interior finishing and mechanical systems installation in the practice facility are still underway, much of which is being donated.

Smithville baseball coach Ben Spann said interior lights purchased by the school are being installed with donated labor, as is the heating, ventilating and air conditioning.

“This facility is going to make things easier for both programs. We’re a small 1A school, and not many have this kind of building. It speaks volumes for the community,” said Smithville football coach Chad Collums.

The indoor practice facility will help, given the drainage problems on campus during rainy periods that have only recently been mitigated by engineering efforts

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