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The Last Piece of the Puzzle

December 20, 2016
By Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

When I came to interview at Indian Rocks Christian School in February of 2001, one of the first things that Superintendent Joel Woodcock did was give me a tour of the facility. Almost everything about our physical plant was impressive, until we went outside to the sports complex. At that time it was a big dirt field. The first parent I met was the late Dean McMillan. He was out digging in a sprinkler system in the area that is now the softball field. There was an old set of bleachers facing the football field which did have lights and a black asphalt track around it but that was the extent of what we had at the time.

We had a baseball and softball field the next spring but no dugouts. Those came a few years later. Another needed renovation was the addition of the weight room. Our old weight room had used mismatched equipment and was stuck in the back corner of the building. A generous donation allowed us to convert what used to be our lunch room into a college class weight room. The next big project was to get new bleachers for the football field. The old ones had bolts that stuck up through the seat. If you weren’t paying attention, you could sit on one (not to comfortable). They also had no handicap accessibility. The new bleachers came with a press box (a huge improvement over the wooden platform that was there), a concession stand, and restrooms. Yes, we used to have to walk all the way up to the building to use the restrooms. This gave new meaning to the term “plan ahead”. Last year was one of great improvement as lights were added to the baseball and softball fields as well as permanent bleacher seating for each field. This opened up the world of night games for our students and families as well as being able to host District tournaments for these two teams.

Fast forward to today. I just walked our new rubberized track and it is all completed except for the lines. When I ran track in small town Iowa in the 1970’s, we ran on cinder tracks. I fell once running the high hurdles, it wasn’t a pretty sight. IRCS students now will be able to train and compete on a state-of-the-art surface. It will offer increased shock absorption, allow for faster times, and provide increased traction even in inclement weather. It will also allow us to host District and Regional track meets as well some home meets of our own (5 this next season). 

This is really the last piece of the puzzle for our athletic complex. My wife travels a lot to train teachers. When it is possible, I go along with her as the spouse. I have had the opportunity to see many Christian schools across the country. I would say (and this has been confirmed by folk from the Association of Christian Schools International) that our facility is in the top 10% in the country for Christian schools. It is truly amazing to see how God has blessed Indian Rocks Christian School through the years.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!