Making it their own

Students begin using the new multimillion-dollar athletic facilities at Norwalk High School


Skyler Edwards

Brandon Schmitz (center) and Cory Archer teach P.E. student Mariola Torra Abad how to use the new TRX band system during strength and conditioning. Many students are learning how to use the new NPECC equipment in the high school.

Taylor Stanley, Staff Writer

The Norwalk Physical Education and Competition Center (NPECC) was part of a $24 million project that includes a new gym, wrestling room, fitness center, weight room, locker rooms, concessions and more.

“I don’t want a specific aspect to stand out because of all that is going into it, but the new gym is amazing,” said Chris Basinger, principal at Norwalk High School. “We have been in need of a large facility for so long, and this will benefit students within all activities beyond sports.”

Basinger said the school’s lack of space before NPECC had become a safety issue.

“Activities such as the wrestling team were required to run at practice in the hallways, which is unsafe for all students,” he said.

Michelle Wiedmann, physical education teacher at Norwalk, said that the new areas will make a big difference for the wrestling team.

“The new wrestling room is essential to mention,” she said. “It has three full-size mats and will provide so much more space for wrestlers and youth programs.”

Wiedmann said the P.E. program really needed the extra space.

“We were busting out of the gym; we had to operate two to three P.E. classes at a time within one area, and this became a liability,” she said.

Wiedmann said being able to use the latest equipment during high school will create a great feeling for students going forward.

“This facility will help students become more confident and comfortable with physical activity and equipment, giving a feel of lifelong fitness,” she said.

John Fulton, head volleyball coach at Norwalk, said it was a great experience for the volleyball team to be able to play this year in the new facilities.

“One of the most memorable events for me this year was the first time that we got to practice at NPECC as a whole team,” he said. “Knowing that we would get an opportunity to play in the new facility was great.”

“I feel like it shows how we are growing as a school and will continue to achieve great things.

— Sami Aagard

Sami Aagard, senior volleyball player at Norwalk, said NPECC let the volleyball program practice together rather than apart.

“The new gym allowed us to have practice with every team within the volleyball program,” she said. “Having the freshmen join us was really fun and they enjoyed playing in the new gym rather than regular practice.”
The volleyball team got to play the very first game in the new facilities.

“Being the first activity to hold an event at NPECC was an honor and one of the reasons the volleyball team had such a great season this year,” Aagard said. “I feel like it shows how we are growing as a school and will continue to achieve great things.”

Basinger said he hopes this top-notch facility will increase community pride.

“I am hopeful it will bring more unity to our schools,” he said. “Norwalk colors are prominent, and we want you to know it’s Norwalk when you walk through the doors.”