Private Donations Boost Bay Port Strength and Conditioning Project
The Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education approved the investment of designated fund balance to complete the expansion of the Bay Port High School strength and conditioning facilities. The Board approved the expenditure with an unanimous vote at its Monday, January 13, 2020 meeting. Since that time, District officials have explored other school facilities and worked with a local firm, Miron Construction, to redesign the space.
Private donations totaling $550,000 have been pledged to the Howard-Suamico Education Foundation toward the project, with committed District fund balance completing the $2.8 million total project cost.
“We are grateful for generous gifts from two community philanthropists for this project,” said Howard-Suamico Education Foundation Executive Director Nicole Smith. “Their passion for supporting our students of all ages was a catalyst in making this a reality. We look forward to celebrating our partners in the near future.”
The original 3,740 square foot strength and conditioning room and adjacent multi-purpose (wrestling) room have hosted Bay Port High School physical education classes, summer school courses, and Bay Port and Bay View Middle School student-athletes since the school opened more than 20 years ago in 1999. Enrollment growth, strength and conditioning course offering expansion, increased student interest in health and wellness programming, and growing youth wrestling program participation have created crowding and safety challenges for the District.
“Our strength and conditioning classes are some of the fastest growing in the entire Bay Port course catalog,” said Bay Port High School Principal Mike Frieder. “In 2012 we had 100 students taking classes like this during the school day, that number is now over 700. One of the largest increases has been among girls signing up for specialized courses developed specifically to support their health and wellness.”
“Our athletics teams and community youth programs use the facility more than ever before,” said Bay Port Athletics Director Brian Matz. “There is more interest in using the facility before, during, and after the school day than we have space to safely accommodate.”
The project will add 7,500 square feet to the strength and conditioning area in addition to remodeling the existing space. The adjacent wrestling room will grow by 1,300 square feet. The expansion will break ground later this month and is scheduled to be open for student use in September 2020.