New South Bend Schools fitness building to break ground soon

South Bend School District is about to break ground on another building project.  

Superintendent Jon Tienhaara announced that the district board of directors awarded Rognlins Inc. a contract to construct the new fitness facility, with ground work to begin as weather allows in the coming months. 

The steel-frame building is said to be approximately 3,750 square feet and will include restrooms, storage, and a large activity area with multiple weights/exercise equipment.  

Rendering of new South Bend School Fitness Building

The estimated $675,000 project is almost entirely grant funded.

Superintendent Tienhaara said, “We are very grateful for two large grants totaling $550,000 to put toward this much needed project.  Our current weight room is quite small and does not provide our students the necessary space. This project will provide the school district with room to grow our physical fitness programs, athletic teams, and provide yet another space to support community needs as well.”

The district has been working for the last year with Cheryl Green of CM Green Design (Raymond, WA) on the building design and layout of teh steel-frame structure engineered and fabricated by Pacific Building Systems of Woodburn, Oregon, as well as the site specifications and planning.  

Site of new SB Fitness Building

The structure is planned to be placed west of Koplitz Field House in order to have easy access to utilities, parking, and locker room facilities.

Exterior elevations of SB Fitness Building

The district placed the order for the building this month and Rognlins Inc. has been selected to erect the steel building. 

“It has been challenging moving the project forward due to all sorts of factors, including rising construction costs, various delays, and supply chain issues,” Tienhaara notes.  We have specific grant funds with spending deadlines approaching.  With the funds we have in-hand, we can now procure the building and the contractor needed to erect the building, which will be completed late this spring.” 

Raising Additional Funds

“We’ve had folks contact us who are interested in contributing toward the project,” says Tienhaara.  The district will be completing interior work once the building is up, we expect the remaining costs to be approximately $125,000, which will finish out the interior building components.”

Donors who wish to contribute can contact the school district or the South Bend School Foundation.

“It can be a challenge for small school districts to continue to move needed projects forward, especially in these current economic times.” said Tienhaara, “We are blessed to have access to competent local designers (Cheryl Green) who has been great throughout all the planning.  We also have a talented staff capable of doing much of the interior work and planning in-house.” 

Tienhaara added, “I look forward to getting the project off the ground in the coming weeks, and I am excited for our students to have this space.”