Northwood plans to build an estimated $3 million athletic facility next to its existing field house.
The 10,000 square foot building will have enough locker rooms to hold eight teams, and it will also house a weight room and a sports medicine room. The building will replace the modular classrooms in front of the football practice field.
The program is looking towards its booster club and the community for help in funding the project. Northwood athletic director Cameron Vernon said he hopes to raise the $3 million in time to break ground in the fall of 2025.
“We want to do it right,” Vernon said.
The idea for a new field house has floated around for years, according to Vernon.
The existing field house, which was built by the school’s masonry class in 1978, can only hold two teams at a time. Because of the team’s size, it can only hold the football team in the fall, and in the spring, it holds the baseball and boys lacrosse teams.
“We do have some indoor locker rooms,” Vernon said. “But, we have kids changing in bathrooms. We have them putting their sports apparel and items all throughout the school during the school day.”
The expected growth of Northwood’s student population is also adding to the need for more space. With the construction of businesses and housing near the school, especially across the street at Chatham Park, Vernon said the school wants to be “proactive” with preparing for an influx of students in the future.
Vernon collaborated with Taylor Hobbs, co-founder and design lead at Hobbs Architects in Pittsboro, to come up with the building’s design. Hobbs is the father of the current Northwood basketball player Griffin Hobbs.
“We did a lot of brainstorming, and (Hobbs) basically told me to tell him what I want,” Vernon said. “If money wasn’t an issue, what would we want in this building? From our conversations, he put that together…I’m very grateful that he put so much time into this.”
The building will have two sections separated by a passage way through the middle that leads to the football practice field behind it.
In front of the building, there will be an area called the “Northwood Plaza” that will serve as a gathering space for students and athletes, and its exterior walls will hold plaques and a wall of fame honoring standout athletes.
“It tries to integrate itself with the campus and be an anchor for that end of campus,” Hobbs said. “It’s accessible to all the facilities…It’s in a good location to service the number of sports.”
The space won’t be just for sports teams. The weight room and the sports medicine room will also be open to all students who sign up for weight lifting classes or join the school’s sports medicine team.
Vernon said the school will look to repurpose the existing field house for storage, coaches’ office space and a team meeting room.
Northwood will gift donors based on the size of their donations with plaques and naming rights.
There will be two permanent plaques placed at the new building’s entrance. One will recognize 100 $5,000 donations, and the other will recognize donations greater than $5,000.
Donors will have to opportunity to name the building, each of the eight locker rooms, the sports medicine room and the weight room after themselves or a loved one. Those interested in naming a space are asked to contact Vernon at email@example.com.
All donations will go towards the completion of the field house.