Ribbon cutting on Tuesday
LA JARA — Given the great wrestling tradition at the school, when money for improvements became available from Conejos County through “Secure Rural Schools” funds a year ago, improving the wrestling practice area for growing interest in the sport at Centauri High School was a widely backed idea.
After approval by the North Conejos School Board of Education in June 2009, plans began to take shape for the new wrestling practice facility.
Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the new 5,400 square-foot building on the southwest side of the administrative offices for the Centauri schools to dedicate the structure and celebrate completion.Construction began last December by San Luis Valley Builders, and is virtually all finished as of this week.
The building that replaces old space used for wrestling has capacity for two large wrestling mat practice areas, instead of just one. It also has a new wrestling coach’s office and plenty of storage area for equipment, plus an area separated by large windows for parents to see wrestling practices.
While the Centauri Falcons team has won the last two Colorado state titles in class 3A, a number have finished high in different weight classifications, including 17 individual state champions since 1993. Sons of San Luis Valley Builders owner LeRoy Polkowske have won six of those individual titles, including Aaron in 1993 and 1994, Daniel in 1999, Mitchell in 2007 and 2008 and Ben Polkowske this year.
Randy Keys has been wrestling coach at the school for the last 11 years, and his son Cahlen won an individual title in 2009 and this year.
North Conejos Schools Superintendent Rick Ivers and Centauri High School Principal Curt Wilson emphasize that the building will have other uses besides simply high school wrestling. It will also be used for community-based programs for wrestling for kids, which is attracting 80 to 100 participants. And, an additional use for the cool, spacious, quiet, well lighted building will be for student ACT test taking.
Although the time to predict outcomes for next school year’s wrestling season may be a bit early, the two officials note an added interest from students to participate in competition, both because of the recent state championships and the nice new building
A regular board meeting for the North Conejos School District Board of Education will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the district administration office in La Jara after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Community members are invited to come and see the new facility. For more information call 274-5174.