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New NRHS athletic facilities nearly completed

New Richmond High School Athletic Director Casey Eckardt conducts a tour of the new facility's athletic amenities on Monday for the Rotary Club of New Richmond. Eckardt reported that work on the school is about 95-98 percent complete.

Members of the Rotary Club of New Richmond enjoyed a tour of the nearly completed high school facilities on Monday.

The purpose of the tour was to show off the athletic facilities that are part of the new building.

Athletic director Casey Eckardt said the construction project is about 95 to 98 percent complete. The challenge is encouraging contractors to complete the finishing touches before school officially begins in September.

The district has had a couple small issues as the final days of the project tick by. When the bleachers were installed in the new gymnasium, some damage occurred to the wooden floor. Eckardt said that needs to be addressed by the contractor.

He said the original contractor for the lime infield for the softball fields didn't return to maintain their work and weeds grew. Another contractor is being hired to take care of the issue and the original contractor will not get their full pay, Eckardt said.

The school's new gym will seat up to 2,397 people, providing New Richmond with one of the nicest high school facilities in the region, he said.

That will allow NRHS to host any number of playoff events for various sports throughout the year, Eckardt said.

The facilities will also allow for some large tournaments to be held locally, such as volleyball and basketball. In the high school gym alone there are 18 basketball baskets that can be used at the same time.

The new gym also features some impressive amenities, such as two batting cages for softball and baseball. The mats for wrestling meets can also be stored in the ceiling, thanks to a hydraulic system.

Nice new scoreboards are also part of the new facilities, along with a video wall that can show sporting highlights and the like. The wall is made up of 16 video screens linked together to provide a large viewing area.

The concessions area is also upgraded, and Eckardt said the menu will be expanded to meet attendees' needs. There is also a new school store, which offers Tigers apparel for all ages.

Eckardt said the weight room facilities have been significantly improved over the old high school. The district was able to purchase about $110,000 of new equipment for about $86,000, he said.

The weight room will be open for extended hours throughout the year, Eckardt said, so that committed athletes can improve their skill levels for competition.