OPINION COLUMNS

Indoor practice facility worth the investment

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, March 7, 2015
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For a second straight week, Old Man Winter decided to visit Wise County, bringing everything to a halt with only a few exceptions.

Though making for beautiful scenery, it soon becomes a nuisance that lasts well past the final flake, especially for springtime sports.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

Fields are too saturated to play or practice baseball, softball or soccer. It’s too cold for sprinters and many other track athletes to push their limits without risk of injury; though if they can find a dry place to run, the cold is not too bad for distance runners.

The timing of this winter blast points to the benefits of the second proposition in the Decatur ISD bond package – the indoor multipurpose practice facility.

Yes, the $3.5 million price tag makes it seem like a luxury item for the Southlakes and Highland Parks. But that’s not truly the case. Northwest, Decatur’s neighbor, has an indoor facility, along with several other districts in the region.

Based on the entire $13.488 million bond package costing the average homeowner $49.14 per year, the indoor facility would cost less than $20 a year initially. As with most bond packages, those initial costs decrease as property values increase and more property is added to the tax roll.

That $20 would provide a facility the district could, and would, utilize throughout the year. When the snow falls or showers roll in during the spring, the baseball and softball teams could still get some infield work in along with hitting. Even golfers could set up nets to drive into. Track athletes could do sprints and hurdle work without worrying about tearing a hamstring in the bitter cold.

The greatest benefit could be in August. With increasing worries about heat-related deaths and injuries, the indoor facility, even without air conditioning, would provide relief from the searing sun. That would not only help football players, but also the band and other groups.

It’s true that Decatur and its athletes have thrived over recent decades without an indoor facility, and likely still would moving forward without it.

But as a community, it’s another chance to be set apart from municipalities on the edge of the Metroplex.

As metropolitan growth continues to creep this way, additional amenities will only help in a competitive field to attract businesses and families.

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s sports editor.

One Response to “Indoor practice facility worth the investment”

  1. Geez,I don’t know how us Old Timers made having to work out in all types of weather. Next thing we will want indoor facilities to play the games for fear of getting wet,cold,or too hot.

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