Not even the coronavirus worldwide pandemic has slowed the construction of The Waterloo Fieldhouse.
The plan to have the multi-purpose facility done this June is right on schedule.
“It’s coming along nicely,” said Waterloo District Administrator Brian Henning. “Things are still on track to be finished by the end of June.”
Voters approved spending $7.3 million on a three-court gymnasium with storage, new restroom and additional locker rooms, along with the expansion of the fitness center.
Henning did say the concrete floor had to be re-poured, but otherwise there have been very little other problems along the way.
“That set us back a few days, but other than that we’re still on track,” he said.
Just last week the basketball backboards and scoreboards were installed, and the wood floor is scheduled to be laid within the coming days.
“It’s really starting to look like an actual fieldhouse, so we’re pretty excited,” Henning said.
Waterloo schools temporarily closed the third week of March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but construction remained on schedule.
“The Kraemer (Brothers) contractors kept right on with their normal schedules and they have not had anybody out sick luckily so far; that could all change tomorrow, but for now we’re still doing very well,” said Henning.
He acknowledged that all the contractors have their temperatures checked daily before going to work and limiting the amount of personnel in one spot, working accordingly to the social distancing measures.
“In fact a lot of the contractors have been coming to work on our site while trying to keep out of Madison or other ‘hot spots,’” Henning said.
The first official event to be played in the new Waterloo Fieldhouse will be a Capitol South Conference girls volleyball game Sept. 3 against Cambridge. The junior varsity will play at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity at 6:45.
“The excitement among the girls and coaching staff is extremely high,” said Waterloo girls volleyball head coach Christy Mosher. “It is a hardworking group in general, but now there is the added excitement of being able to spread their wings during practice. After years of having close to 40 girls practicing at one time on two nets in the old gym, we will now have the space for all three teams to have their own net and the ability to effectively give the athletes the quality repetitions they need to Keep getting better.
“We are thankful for this opportunity to play in such a nice facility as I know it will positively impact our program.”
The Pirate spikers have been one of the best volleyball programs assembled, reaching the WIAA state tournament four times in the past decade — including last fall — while winning back-to-back Division 3 titles in 2014 and 2015. Waterloo has also won five of the last six Capitol South championships, with many of those victories occurring in the old gymnasium.
“We have so many great memories in that old gym, it will always have a special place in our hearts. But we are more than ready to get work in the Fieldhouse and build off of last season,” Mosher said.
Girls basketball will play its first game on Nov. 21 against Deerfield, while the Pirate boys basketball team plays its first game in its new arena on Dec. 2 against Palmyra-Eagle.