Penn H.S. debuts new Kingsmen Athletic Center and Plaza

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The new Kingsmen Athletic Center and Plaza at Penn High School is quite spacious.

With more than 13,000 square feet to enjoy, it truly is a numbers game.

"Penn High School's a large high school, and we have lots of student-athletes participating. We have over 1,100 student athletes involved in something," Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker said.

It can be used any day of the year, for gym class or other events.

"It's kind of overwhelming just seeing how big it is, how nice it is. It's really nice," senior outside linebacker Bryce Stone said.

But student-athletes might be celebrating the most, even more when their sport is in season.

"We're already really motivated on the field, but being able to come back into this comfortable locker room every day is definitely a nice bonus," senior outside linebacker,Caden Paquette added.

The facility has 255 student lockers, 33 showers, built-in benches, drinking fountains and a drop-down screen for team and film events.

"We wanted to do an integrated team meeting area," PHM CEO Aaron Leniski said.

And coaches will also have their own spaces.

"We've got coaches locker rooms, restroom facilities and showering facilities," Leniski added.

Of course, fans can celebrate the new digs, too. There are a combined 50 new restroom stalls for men and women, three family restrooms, plus an extra concession stand.

And with all the niceties, food and ticket prices should stay the same.

"We want more and more people to come out and enjoy this. We think that it's a great benefit for the community to come, whether they have students enrolled here, sons and daughters here, relatives - just come out and enjoy the ballgames," Thacker said.

The public restrooms, concession stand and plaza area will be open for use Friday, Oct. 12. But the team locker rooms will not be in use until Oct. 26, when Penn hosts Warsaw in the Class 6A Sectional 2 opener.

Safety was also a major improvement with the Kingsmen. With everything in one spot, now students don't have to cross the parking lot to access the main building.

On Friday night, Oct. 12, fans can get their own tour of the new facility.
The open house starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Penn-Mishawaka football game.