Helias Catholic High School is building a $300,000 storage space in its athletic complex to make needed room on campus.
The building permit for the project that's been filed with the city describes the construction as of a "new athletic shed," but Helias President Rev. Stephen Jones said Wednesday he prefers to describe it in different terms.
"It's really a storage facility. It is a four-bay garage, basically, that will help us alleviate our storage problem on campus," Jones said.
He said the facility will be built on the south side of Ray Hentges Football Stadium in the Crusader Athletic Complex — just south of the home locker room on the level of the field.
"It wasn't part of the overall master plan for the complex," Jones said of the new storage facility.
The athletic complex opened in 2017 and features a soccer stadium and tennis pavilion in addition to the football stadium.
Jones said the new storage facility was part of the list of long-range ideas of what was needed at the complex — something he thought would not be built for another five or 10 years — but storage needs on campus were present.
All the storage areas at the school's main campus are completely full, he said, and moving all the athletic equipment from campus would open up space for theater and other things.
While Helias uses the Miller Performing Arts Center for its theater activities, storage for the program is still at Helias, Jones said.
"It's meant to house stuff for football, track, soccer and band," Jones said of the new space, adding the maintenance staff also would use it.
Some of the storage would be seasonal — for example, equipment for track would be kept there for that sport's off-season, then the football team would have equipment stored in the facility while track is going on.
The facility will be heated enough to protect equipment from freezing temperatures, though it will not be air-conditioned, he said. The roof of the building will for now be flat — a space that can be used for viewing games or for events — but the building could be added on to vertically in the future, he added.
The building permit for the project designated as commercial and for "utility" use calculates the cost of construction as $311,300. Sircal Contracting Inc. is listed as the general contractor, with Meyer Electric Co. Inc. listed as a subcontractor. The Architects Alliance Inc. provided construction document drawings and submitted the building permit.
Jones said the facility is being paid for by a single-donor family who came forward around the holidays to give a gift to the school, asked about Helias' needs and agreed to pay for the new storage facility.
Jones does not anticipate any other facilities being built in the next year or so. He noted Helias is still in "the conceptual stages" of building an auditorium — they have a design — and an on-campus baseball facility is part of the school's master development plan.