Monday, August 8, 2022

Schuylkill Haven Area School District to Hold Grand Opening of Lehigh Valley Health Network Sports Performance Center

Schuylkill Haven Area School District to Hold Grand Opening of Lehigh Valley Health Network Sports Performance Center

Schuylkill Haven Area will hold a special grand opening next week to open it's brand new Lehigh Valley Health Network Sports Performance Center.

The event will take place next Tuesday, August 16th, 2022 from 12:00pm to 7:00pm and the public is invited to visit and check it out.

A special ribbon cutting will be held at 12:00 noon near the main entrance of the new facility.  The event is an open house format with guided tours, food trucks, prize giveaways, demonstrations from medical professionals, Hurricane Team practices, and a live radio broadcast from T102FM.

Staff will also be on-hand to answer questions about rental agreements.

The Schuylkill Haven Area School District has reached a 14-year partnership agreement with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to name the new physical education and sports performance building “The LVHN Sports Performance Center.” Terms of the deal include sponsorship support for 14 years, as well as sports medicine services and staffing provided for the life of the contract. In addition, LVHN will provide an annual equipment allowance, educational scholarships, and sports medicine supplies as the exclusive sports medicine provider of Hurricane athletics.

On April 23, 2021 the Schuylkill Haven Area School District broke ground on the facility.

The 30,000 square foot sports performance center features a large, turf-playing surface with a divider curtain to provide two “cross-court” sized fields. This surface will be perfect for K-12 physical education classes, football, soccer, track and field, cross country, marching band, and cheerleading. The main playing area also includes two retractable batting cages available for baseball and softball use. A brand new first floor weight room is being equipped with the latest equipment for exclusive use by Hurricane students and staff. Two additional second floor sports performance spaces will feature competition rubber flooring to host training seminars, exercise classes, and group gatherings, available for rent by outside organizations and community groups. A second story 1/10 mile track will feature a high-performance surface for running and walking, available for student athletes with designated timeslots for Schuylkill Haven Area School District residents to use free of charge. Most areas of the facility will be available for rent during evening and weekend hours for outside organizations. Rental information will be available on the school district website with all revenue generated being used to improve programming for Schuylkill Haven Area students.

The district says students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade will benefit from this versatile space daily for physical education classes and indoor recess space during inclement weather.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Shawn T. Fitzpatrick spoke about the idea: “We really thought an idea this big was just a dream for a small school district in a hard-working community, but the dream is now a reality thanks to a forward-thinking school board and this incredible partnership with LVHN. Our goal with sports marketing has always been to provide top-notch facilities and support extra-curricular activities for students without charging them a fee to participate. It also allows us to provide a great resource that our taxpayers can access. In the past, we’ve benefited greatly in similar agreements with the CACL Center (High School gymnasium) renovation/naming, and with the naming of our Zwerling Auditorium, which includes annual Zwerling grant money that supports programs in the arts for our students. It’s really a win-win for all involved, especially our students!”

The new facility will be managed by Dennis Siket, who has a passion for engaging students in sports and movement activities. Siket, a certified physical education instructor and current high school administrator recognizes the role that keeping children active plays in helping to address the growing mental health crisis. 

 Siket notes, “I’ve spent my entire career watching children learn and grow through participation in sports. This new facility will provide every student with a place to stay active and live a healthier lifestyle.”

The building was designed by AEM Architects, Inc. The general contractor was ECI Construction, LLC with engineering services provided by Consolidated Engineers and Vertek Construction Management. The plumbing contractor was Bognet, Inc. The electrical contractor was Albarell Electric, Inc., and the HVAC contractor was Leibold, Inc. Many other local contractors, as well as Schuylkill Haven Borough Employees were utilized throughout the project and numerous area businesses donated funding for equipment. They will be recognized in a private celebration prior to the grand opening, and are listed below under corporate partners.