TheCENTER Skates into Edwardsville

EHS Grounds Will Once Again Become a Construction Zone Next Year to Build Student Center


Photo Courtesy of City of Edwardsville

This image captures a tentative look at what the ice rink and indoor track will look like.

Holly Williams, Staff Writer

EHS students and athletes will soon have access to a new recreational center. TheCENTER will contain an ice rink, indoor track and teen center, which was designed according to results from a student survey.

On Nov. 12, Steve Stuart announced via Schoology the partnering of the Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon (JSC) with the City of Edwardsville to complete the complex. He attached a survey asking students to provide information about their extracurricular activities, mode of transportation home and likeliness that they would use the center. The survey also provided students an opportunity to sign up to aid in designing the building. 

The 43,000-sq.-ft facility will be located on Tiger Drive across from Center Grove Presbyterian Church open to all students in the Edwardsville area including those attending local parochial schools, according to the City of Edwardsville’s website. 

The City of Edwardsville is accepting donations ranging from twenty-five thousand to two million dollars to sponsor the construction of the indoor track, fitness center, locker rooms, community rooms, study rooms and the NHL regulation size ice rink that will be featured in the building according to the City of Edwardsville’s website. 

Currently, the EHS ice hockey team travels to East Alton Ice Rink to play home games, and so ice hockey player sophomore Blake Miller is excited about the prospect of having a local ice rink.

“It’s not always convenient to drive 30 minutes to play a home game…,” Miller said. “It will be great to have a rink in our backyard.”

With a centrally located ice rink, many students will have the opportunity to attend hockey games. Sophomore and EHS ice hockey player Anthony Ruklic said a crowd will not affect their playing, but it will make the game more fun for the whole team. 

“…It will be more exciting for me playing in front of all the people I go to school with,” Ruklic said. 

Nate Tingley, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Edwardsville, says it is more than a facility for ice hockey players.

“TheCENTER will be a place for hockey teams and figure skaters to practice, but it’s also for all of the local youth to come and use in a myriad of ways,” Tingley said. “Letting high school students use the facility during school for P.E., after school to hang out or work out, and before and after sporting events will be really beneficial to the high school students.”

Much like how the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center allowed EHS to introduce new P.E. units such as swimming, Tingley said TheCENTER will also allow students to participate in units such as ice skating.

Students will also be able to utilize the indoor track located directly above the ice rink, according to the City of Edwardsville’s website. 

Senior and former track and cross country athlete Emiley England said the indoor track will be beneficial, allowing athletes to practice during inclement weather and scheduling conflicts when sharing practice spaces. 

TheCENTER will not only be a place for athletes to go, but it will also provide students with a study area and hangout space. Miller said that it will be a good place to spend time after school to do homework, and he thinks he will use it as a study center before games and practices.

But students will not be able to utilize the space anytime soon, according to the Illinois Business Journal, construction is planned to commence Spring of 2021.

Although the Class of 2022 may not be able to use it, junior Lilly Berry is happy that others will be able to.

Many students are in favor of this project as it allows for all students, despite their diverse interests, to meet in a space that they designed.

“There are a lot of ways The CENTER can benefit the high school students,” Tingley said. “I hope they’re able to voice their support, and they are heard.”