On August 26th, 2020, Camas High School announced that it would be adding an indoor multipurpose athletic facility next to Cardon Field. The news did not seem to circulate in the small-knit community as expected. Instead, over the last couple of weeks, students and staff have visited CHS and were in complete awe when they came across the massive facility.
CHS Senior Cole Allen said, “When I first came upon it, the structure itself was huge. I had only heard rumors about how big it was, but sheesh it was massive.”
He added, “The building looked pretty state of the art, very nice.”
CHS Sophomore Jake Silva said, “The facility is just straight massive. It is crazy what they have been able to accomplish, so quickly too.”
Camas School District Project Manager Chuck Stiller said, “My take on the building is that it’s an amazing benefit to the district and Camas community.”
Stiller shared some brief statistics of the project.
“The facility is a bit unique to Camas, though there are some similar facilities in Vancouver. The building will provide an additional 12,000 square feet of space for school programs,” Stiller said.
He added, “Typical school construction is running upwards of $400 per square foot, this project will come in closer to $120 per square foot. There are a lot of factors to come into play with that number and why it’s low, but in the end, it’s great value to gain square footage at that price.”
Some CHS students look ahead to how the facility will impact their school.
CHS Senior Luke Basanta said, “I think it will make practices more accessible for all sports. It should give another dimension to CHS, providing more practice options for athletes.”
CHS Senior Jake Blair said, “I think this will benefit a lot of sports in the future. When the weather gets bad, we can go use it and keep practices going.”
CHS Senior Jacques-Badolato Birdsell said, “It will for sure benefit sports in the future because we don’t have to practice in terrible weather and conditions.”
Stiller explained how the facility is intended to be utilized by CHS staff and students.
“It will provide year-round practice facility for turf based games (though not large enough for football or soccer games) and provide unique opportunities for community use for indoor practice facilities for a variety of sports/activities,” Stiller said.
Stiller added, “If designed and funded properly, the facility could provide additional space for the PE programs during the school day and community use whenever not reserved for school/athletics.”
Camas High School High Athletic Director Rory Oster said, “While the primary focus of this building will be a physical education space during the school day and an indoor hitting and practice facility for athletic programs after the school day it will have a much larger impact as well.”
Oster added, “The addition of this space will also open up space in our gymnasiums which in the past were used by programs like baseball and softball for rainy day practices. Now we will have more space to look into potentially beginning more intramural programs.”
CHS Head Football Coach Jon Eagle expressed his optimism on the possibility of using the facility for game day walk-throughs.
However, some people in the community reacted in shock and disdain to the decision to build an indoor facility. Some believe that the resources could have gone to other designated facilities.
CHS Senior Matthew Brown said, “I and others believe that the new building could be put to better use as a swimming pool, instead of an indoor practice area.”
All in all, this major indoor facility will leave a gargantuan impact on present and future students to come and could affect the way some classes are taught. Some staff and students actually hinted at this project as one of many in the works.
“I feel like this is one of the many things to come in the future,” Birdsell said.
“When they build the bubble over Cardon, then we’ll be set,” Eagle said.