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Renovating the ECHS fieldhouse

Architects’ rendering

News Staff Writer

Architects have furnished Escambia County school officials with renderings of Escambia County High School’s new athletic fieldhouse, which will evolve from a massive renovation of the current facility.
The school’s football team won’t be using the new practice venue this season but could possibly be working out in it by next Spring. If it’s not ready by then, the Blue Devils should certainly be conducting preseason drills there when they begin preparations for the 2024 season.
Shaun Goolsby, Deputy Director of Operations for the county’s public school system, said plans are now being drawn for the facility, which will include a covered practice field.
Local education officials plan to seek bids on the new facility before the end of the year, and for construction to begin shortly thereafter.
“Construction should begin by the end of December or first of January,” Goolsby said in an emailed statement. “The plans are being drawn now, then we plan to advertise the project for bid by November.”
No projected completion date was revealed.
Goolsby said the renovation of and additions to the L-shaped building, which will boast the school’s athletic logo on its facade, is expected to cost about $1.2 million, money that was included in the school system’s capital plan for 2022 and 2023.
The practice field will encompass about 14,500 square feet. It will be covered, allowing the team to conduct drills in rain or extreme heat, but not totally enclosed.
Goolsby said plans are to replace virtually everything that exists inside the current fieldhouse.
“The fieldhouse will consist of all-new, larger showers, as well as restrooms,” he said, adding that there would be a new office for the head coach and spaces for the assistant coaches.
Among the other planned amenities are a new film room, new lockers in the dressing room, a new sports medicine room, new tubs for ice baths and all-new weight equipment.
“Everything in that building will be new,” Goolsby said.
The county school board is also considering the construction of a new concession stand and restroom facility on the visitors’ side of Herbert Barnes Field, site of ECHS’s home football games, as well as construction of an area beneath the home stands for game officials.