Editorial: Field house a frustration

Echo Staff

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Debates and complaints have been echoed throughout New Hope since last year when the $2 million field house was confirmed and eventually built. Many have said that the building has not been shared equally amongst the several students who are involved with athletic activities. Students in general see the field as a symbol of imbalance and inequality within the school. Those who play sports besides football are upset with the field house, as well as other school groups such as band and show choir. They decided to build a place of practice for athletes, yet only a few athletes have been able to use the building for their own purposes.

Even those who aren’t athletes are distressed by the lack of equality. The editorial board of the New Hope Echo, made up of students with a wide range of extracurricular activities–from band to showchoir (even to sports)–agree that the cost for one sport’s use is disappointing. We know the football team works hard, but so do many other groups that do not receive that kind of funding. Just look at the football field compared to the band field. The band field is in rough shape, while the football field (and its multiple practice fields) are in perfect condition.

There’s no wonder why many students find it unfair. A show choir member has explained that next year she will be spending $1,300 just to participate in the normal musical activities and competitions. Other groups will have to have fundraisers every few weeks just to stay alive.

Many athletes, including baseball and softball players, seem to think that the money could have been spread around to improve facilities that already exist, or to make a field house that girls can use more easily.

Parents also feel the unfairness because some of those parents have kids who play in other sports, but are never funded. You have these students and parents who have to run fundraisers and money that comes out of their pockets.

There is a lot of feeling out there that it was just a bunch of money going toward a sport that we aren’t even very good at. Additionally, when we got it, all the teams were so excited about this new field house, but then no one was using it. It was always just the football team. Track, soccer, no one else gets to step inside.

We understand that if we want to be better at something, we have to make an investment, but that’s true of every activity. Most students and parents are wondering, though, where the investment is in their programs.