Making a case for a new Sports and Fitness Center : Accessibility, condition of building and fields could be improved

After high school a lot of student athletes who decide that they want to continue their career in athletics begin the process of choosing a school.

When choosing a school, as I wrote about in my last article, there are many different things you must think about before deciding where to go.

One of the most critical things must be the school’s athletic facility and complex.

The sports and fitness center is where most athletes would be spending their time if they were to play a college sport.

Between practices, meetings, games, and other events concerning the sport most of the time you will be in there.

I want to focus in on our school Northern Essex Community College. A lot of athletes decide to come here to either save money or build up their athletic resume by playing here.

Here at NECC we offer a lot of different sports to our students as an opportunity to continue to do something they love while being at college.

Here at our campus in Haverhill Massachusetts, we do have our own sports complex for out teams to practice and play games in. It is over 50 years old and has many renovations that need to be done.

The sports complex here at NECC is an important part of our campus because without building D we wouldn’t really have a space for athletics, which would probably force us not to offer sports, which might even bring the school’s applicant’s down.

The sports complex is still in use and there are games that are still being played there but we do need multiple renovations if not a whole new building.

Some of the problems with our current sports building include the lack of accessibility for students like me who are in a wheelchair — it might be hard to maneuver in certain spots of the building.

The plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems are all out of date which is a huge problem because this could cause damage to the building if one of these fails.

This would cause a lot of issues with the sports teams here at NECC because they would have nowhere to practice or play.

Our next problem is right adjacent to our sports complex we have our baseball field, softball field, and an asphalt track that suffers from draining issues and does not meet the campus’ needs.

The good news is that we are taking steps to fix this problem that we have on our beloved campus.
WHAV News, a nonprofit news organization we have in Haverhill stated, “Northern Essex Community College is turning to the private sector to potentially address about nine million dollars in deferred maintenance at its more than 50-year-old Sports and Fitness Center and surrounding athletic fields at its Haverhill campus.”

I believe this would be a great investment for the school that would even help them.

Building a new Sports and Fitness Center would raise the eyebrows of student athletes looking to continue their athletic career at a community college.

The next positive, I believe, is the new Sports and Fitness building can offer is a safer place to practice and play games with all updated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work.

Also, the renovation of the fields, in my opinion, is huge. Not only will this bring in more athletes to our school and sports programs, but I also really think it might bring in some more local fans near the area. A brand-new field is something to check out.

At the end of the day the main concern for our student athletes here at NECC is their health and their well-being.

With the new fields I do feel we might have less injuries to players concerning their ankles and parts of the lower bodies due to the old grass.

I did take some time to go out and look at the field and I do have to say the conditions in some spots are very poor.

My fear is someone running to go catch a fly ball and getting their ankle caught or twisted in a spot in the field where there might be a little dip in the surface or somewhere where the dirt isn’t as strong and maybe their cleat digs in.

Also, while talking about inside the Sports and Fitness building, a new flooring would be great for the basketball teams because they would have better traction.

I also would really like the building to be fully accessible to all students.

I have been around a lot of Sports Complex’s in the area, and I would say most of them, if not all of them, are accessible.

I took some time to reach out to my friend Eric Mello who is a basketball player who is highly considering coming to NECC to continue his education and maybe play for our team if he has a chance.

I wanted to ask him a couple of questions about our school and maybe the possibility of a new Sports and Fitness center.

My first question was what made you look at NECC?

Mello stated, “I was mainly interested in NECC because of a recommendation from my high school guidance counselor. She explained to me how at NECC everyone is helpful and it is a real family environment which would make me comfortable.”

I asked him next if he would want to play basketball here?

He quickly answered, “Yes, of course if I got the opportunity to play at the school. I would, but I know it would take a lot of time, effort, and dedication especially after the type of season they just had.”

My last question to Mello was if we were to put a new Sports and Fitness Center in would this be a benefit to you?

Mello explained, that “if a new Sports and Fitness center were to be put in the school my interest would probably go up, just because I know where I will be spending most of my time, it is brand new, and will have all the newest and best equipment to get me game ready.”

Overall, I do think that a new Sports and Fitness center with some field accommodations are needed at our school because before you know it the building and fields may become so bad that they are unusable.

I believe the college would get many more student athletes to apply because as Mello explained, the thought of being in a new building with new equipment sounds quite convincing.

Northern Essex Community College would be a great spot to do new renovations for our athletes because we have not had anything major done for over 50 years.

With the support of our school and local supporting businesses we can make this happen.