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Northside Arena Completion Delays Impact Fall Ball Play

10.19.2021 UPDATE: The Northside High School Arena was released today for occupancy and competition. The NHS Volleyball Team will play their Senior Night game on Thursday evening, October 21. The first of three games begins at 4:30 p.m. The arena will also host several State Volleyball Tournament games next week. Seating for all games will be available in the upper concourse.

10.15.2021  The Northside High School arena project continues to experience delays similar to those occurring throughout the United States because of supply chain disruptions. These delays have impacted, specifically, the NHS Volleyball team’s ability to play games in the competition gym during the 2021 Season. It is very likely that the delays will also impact, to some extent, games that can be played during basketball season. 

Several factors are contributing to these issues. The delivery of chair back seats and the seat hardware have been postponed several times and could be further delayed into early next year. However, 1,200 bleacher seats have been installed and are ready for use in the upper level of the gym. Currently, there are 1,800 seats in the school’s Kaundart Grizzly Fieldhouse that can continue to accommodate fans during these seasons if necessary. 

Additionally, scoreboard installation and training has been postponed until early November in an effort to ensure some play in the new athletic space during Fall 2021. The scoreboard which mirrors the one installed at Southside High School, requires several days to complete and specialty equipment to install. Training on this multi-component, complex technology is set to begin as soon as physical installation is complete

The district is working with coaches to develop solutions for disruptions caused by these delays. FSPS Deputy Superintendent Martin Mahan said, “At this time, FSPS Athletics and Activities are planning for a possibility that the NHS Volleyball team will be able to play their October 21 Senior Night game in the school's new arena. This game cannot, however, be confirmed today. There are several pieces that will have to fall into place before this can happen. We should be able to make a final decision early next week.”

The district is evaluating the possibility of volleyball play at the NHS arena during the state volleyball tournament that begins Oct. 26. 

The construction of the competition gyms at both high schools was a priority of the 2018 Citizens Committee and subsequent millage election program. Construction on the Southside arena began in October 2019 and opened for student and public use at the end August 2021. Construction began on the Northside High School competition gym in March 2020. Design approvals on seating specifications were finalized for the Northside project in October 2020.

“We are all anxious to open the Northside competition gym. Construction of this piece of the total project has however experienced a “perfect storm” of events that have delayed completion. The pandemic, extreme winter weather in January and continued supply chain disruptions caused by world disasters have set the project back, and we are working to address each challenge that has emerged as a result,” said Mahan.