Rhea County school officials recently announced their plans to construct an indoor practice facility for a wide range of sports teams at a county school board meeting on Thursday.
Rhea County Director of Schools Jerry Levengood said that the school system is hoping to fund the construction of the indoor practice facility through donations and volunteers.
“We asked, ‘How can we do this for our children without it being a burden on our taxpayers?’” Levengood said. “The best way is for the community to come together and help support our student-athletes.”
The planned facility will be nearly 24,000-square-feet metal building, nearly half the size of a football field, and Levengood said that the space could be used by a variety of teams, not just the football team.
“There won’t be any offices in it or anything like that,” Levengood said. “This will just be a practice facility for when we have inclement weather.”
There are currently 420 student-athletes at Rhea County High School, but Levengood said that the indoor practice facility could also be utilized by the high school marching band.
“Even the marching band could practice in there,” he said. “It would allow them to still practice in bad weather but also not ruin their instruments.”
Levengood said that school officials will now spread the word about the project and seek donations for the facility as well as seek volunteer labor that could aid in construction. He said that in-kind donations could be anything from cement, equipment and plumbing.
The push for donations and volunteers is similar to the construction of the home side stands at the current stadium in 1986, when the school system also utilized donations and volunteer labor to improve the stadium.
“The community moved dirt, volunteers poured concrete and built the press box and restrooms,” Levengood said. “I’ve seen what can happen when a community says, ‘This is something we’d like to do for our student athletes.’”
An account has been set up at Rhea County high School to accept donations, and gifts are tax deductible. If you would like to make a donation, send it to Rhea County High School and designate it for the sports facility. The high school’s address is 885 Eagle Lane, Evensville, TN, 37332.
For more information, contact Levengood at (423) 775-7812 or Rhea County High School Principal Jesse Messimer at (423) 285-6833.