USD 443 completed its new 28,000-square foot indoor turf playing field, a two-story storm shelter with locker rooms and restrooms, and two indoor batting cages.

As part of the completion, USD 443 received an award by the Associated General Contractors for the new facility.

The new facility was made in collaboration with USD 443, DLR Group, GLMV Architecture and the construction team.

According to USD 443 public information officer Kerri Baker, one important feature about the new physical education facility is that the locker rooms and multi-purpose rooms double as storm shelters.

"Having an indoor sports facility saves the district money with lower maintenance costs and no wear-and-tear to the field due to weather," Baker said in a press release. "Translucent panels in the facility provide natural lighting to offset high electricity bills."

Other state school districts have sent representatives to the new facility to use as a model for their own future planning.

"We are proud of our new facilities and to have one recognized for innovation and design is an indication of the quality we want for our students," said USD 443 superintendent Dr. Fred Dierksen. "These facilities allow for outstanding programs and learning opportunities."

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