Norwalk Catholic School students and athletes will have a new fitness center, possibly by next fall, thanks to generous donations from both parishioners, alumni and Pride One Development.
Pride One, the company developing Norwalk Commons on the north side of town, has donated a building used formerly by Batesville Casket Company. Batesville moved to another location in the area. Pride One sold one of the company’s buildings to John Riley and donated the other to NCS.
The new facility will provide room for a weight-lifting area, a changing room and rest rooms. The St. Paul Booster Association is spearheading the project and named Jim Wasiniak, a 1963 graduate of St. Paul, as project coordinator.
“Many pieces have had to fall into place for this to come to fruition,” Wasiniak said. “The facility will be constructed on a steel framework of the building that was formerly Batesville Casket. It will be located on the corner of Page and Wooster Streets on property that has been made available through the generosity of a St. Paul High alumni.”
David Conwill, of Pride One, said the company is looking forward to continued development and projects in the community.
“We are excited about working to develop the Norwalk area,” Conwill said. “It is rewarding for us to be able to contribute to the betterment of education in the area as well as economic development.
“We have been impressed with the spirit of cooperation we’ve seen in the Norwalk community and encourage local businesses to get involved in these projects that better their community. We are very, very proud to be in the city and thrilled to be working with the Catholic school.”
The fitness center has been a dream of the St. Paul High athletic department for some time.
“Year-round conditioning is absolutely necessary for participation in school sports,” said John Livengood, athletic director. “For over 10 years, local businessman Mike Myers has provided space to house our fitness equipment and allow students to work out. We have outgrown this facility and have been looking for an alternative plan for some time.”
The project is scheduled to begin in the very near future. The donated building has been carefully dismantled and plans are in the making to ready the Page/Wooster Street site. Construction of the building will take place as weather permits throughout the spring.
“Over the years, we have built wonderful facilities for Norwalk Catholic School in a very cost effective manner,” Wasiniak said. “This is because of the generous sharing of time and talent on behalf of parishioners, alumni and friends. The donation of the Batesville Casket building is a real blessing. With additional donations of in-kind services, this project will really be cost-effective.”
Anyone interested in contributing to the project in any way can contact Wasiniak at (419) 541-1613 or Livengood at (419) 668-3005.