NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – What started as a maintenance and storage building next to Taggart Stadium in New Castle has become The Rack, a 10,000-square-foot indoor training facility for all sports and all ages in the New Castle school district.
“We think we’ve built something that is going to be longstanding,” says New Castle Head Coach Joe Cowart. “And it’s incredible for the kids in the district of New Castle.”
It’s a project that started with volunteers cleaning and clearing space.
“We’ve tried to save our district with volunteer man-hours as much as we could,” said Cowart. “And I think if you try and wrap your brain away around how much money we saved in doing things, it’s a big number. If you look at the place, it looks like a multi-million dollar facility. We didn’t spend multi-millions of dollars to build it.”
It took a fundraising campaign by the community and matching funds from the school district to start the project. It also took a couple of big checks from Pittsburgh Pirates Charities ($25,000) and the Jerome Bettis Foundation ($15,000) to finish it.
It’s certainly getting used.
This spring, there were football players, volleyball, baseball, softball and track athletes all training together.
“There were times where there were almost 200 kids in here from four or five different sports, all working out the same time, and it got a little tight in here, but not that tight,” Cowart said. “And it was really, really inspiring and neat to see kind of the vision that was this place start to take track.”
The Rack also offers a “Hydration Station.” It provides students with water, chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, free of charge.
They are donated by New Castle Police Chief Bob Salem.