OUR VIEW: A proper facility for LHS athletes

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2020

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On Tuesday, LaGrange High School opened its all-inclusive, state of the art facility for every sport to use.

The gym has bleachers on three sides, and on the fourth side fans will be able to stand and see the action on the floor.

The complex also features an indoor practice facility that can be used by the different teams at the school. It is 40 yards long and 53 yards wide.

The old gym, which was built in 1954, carried a lot of history and tradition. We were sad to see it go.

But with this new building, the athletes at LaGrange High have facilities befitting a 21st-century high school.

Three years ago, funds were approved for a new athletic complex at LaGrange High that included a gym and an indoor practice facility. The facility, which was paid for by E-SPLOST funds, included a gym with room for more than 2,000 spectators. According to previous reporting, the LHS gym had a guaranteed maximum price point of $15.5 million via TCSS’ agreement with contractor Ra-Lin.

Not everyone wanted this facility to be built, but taxpayers approved the gymnasiums when they approved the most recent five-year E-SPLOST many years ago. The cost rose from what was originally expected, which made the ultimate cost for the gym controversial, and we understand that and agree with the concerns many have shared on this project over the years.

Tough decisions were made, and the board ultimately decided it was simply a necessary upgrade, even at a higher cost.

The same decision was made for the new Troup High gymnasium.

We agree with the board’s thinking to move forward with both projects, and we’re glad now to see them both completed. It’s a massive step for TCSS, as new gyms were going to be needed soon, regardless of whether it happened this year or a year in the near future. Eventually, old infrastructure needs to be replaced, and after talking to school officials, it’s clear that it was time to do that at both facilities.

We all want the best for our children, so it only makes sense that they should be provided adequate facilities.

Sports bring parents, teachers, students and the broader community together. They give young people experience with hard work, leadership and team building. They teach our kids how to weather defeats and win graciously.

If we’re going to have sports programs, which we think just about everyone understands the value of, then we ought to do it right. That’s what this new facility represents.