Several years ago, high school basketball was dominated by schools in Indiana, a fact attributed to their cold winters: The school’s athletes found the warm gym a great place to practice and perfect their play. Even small schools prospered as shown in the film Hoosiers.

Another winter sport that has become a pride of Indiana high schools is wrestling. Recently, the Jennings County School Corp., North Vernon, Ind., contracted with Woolpert to design a 23,700-sq.-ft. wrestling addition to the Jennings County High School gymnasium. The first-class facility will be dedicated to the district’s wrestling program.

The facility will seat 785, house two locker rooms, and include a large equipment storage area with a garage door for easy access. It also will have an office for the wrestling coach, complete with its own shower, restroom, changing area, and closet. The addition will have a maple hardwood floor with a vapor barrier, replacing the concrete floor the teams wrestled on previously, and the exterior will match the existing building.

Jennings County High School Wrestling Coach Howard Jones said the facility will benefit wrestlers from preschool through high school. No, pre-school probably doesn’t have a wrestling program, it’s just the facility will be multipurpose.

This project is the latest effort in the master plan to update its athletic facilities. Woolpert also is working with the district to upgrade its softball and baseball fields, as well as its tennis courts. Construction on the wrestling facility is projected to begin in early 2020, with the target of hosting its first meet for the 2020-‘21 season.

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