Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 12, 2013

Home sweet home for field house

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It’s a fast paced two minute drive of a different kind for Pauls Valley’s football fieldhouse as the intensity has been turned up to complete a long anticipated renovation project.

Work continued this week to wrap up each and every detail for a newly renovated and expanded fieldhouse building, which is one of three larger school projects included in a bond issue passed by local voters in 2012.

Steps to continue the other two — renovation to the junior high’s auditorium and the Wacker Park gym — are moving along at a nice clip.

The best news of all is Panther football coaches and players got their first chance to begin using the fieldhouse this week, even there’s still plenty to do before it’s officially called complete.

“They’re out there using it,” Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa said shortly after a walk through the Panther fieldhouse.

“They’re having to work around the workers, but at least they can now use the building,” she said.

“The coaches are going above and beyond the call of duty to get this done. They’re putting in a lot of hours to get the fieldhouse ready.

“The fieldhouse has been needing this for a long time.”

For the past several days efforts have been focused on getting all the little things done as quickly as possible.

The first step came when the local school district took possession of the fieldhouse building as construction officials have wrapped up their work. Then came the official OK from a fire marshal.

That was followed by the project’s architect, who inspected the facility and came up with a long list of things that needed to be done before the renovation and expansion would officially be wrapped up.

“They call it a punch list,” Huckabaa said about the architect’s lists of needed things.

“We won’t sign off on anything until all the little things are done.”

Once the entire punch list is done the plan is finish the project with some new asphalt — thanks to Pauls Valley city officials, Huckabaa said.

“We’re working with the city to get the asphalt in front of the fieldhouse and stadium,” she said.

“That will be the last thing to be done with the project.”

Hopes are the paving can be completed by the Panthers’ first home football game.

The superintendent says two of the projects, the fieldhouse and park gym located only yards away, will work well together, especially when it comes to PV’s girls who take part in athletics.

The gym did get a new roof but big changes are coming inside as spectator seats had to be removed because of fire codes.

Work continues to move forward to renovate that space into brand new locker rooms for both girls and boys.

“It will be a true practice facility,” Huckabaa said.

A little bit of Pauls Valley history is coming back with the third project — a complete renovation of the local junior high’s auditorium, which has been setting unused for a long time.

This week workers were busy putting in the auditorium’s brand new seats as the area is beginning to take shape.

“Our community will be so proud of these facilities,” the superintendent said about the auditorium and fieldhouse projects.

“That auditorium is a showplace, and we’re still able to keep the character of that building.

“I want the community to know we will have open houses at both of these facilities when they’re completed.

“What a great thing for our kids.”