Sports Facility Gives School What Others Have Had for Years


Max Aronson

Assistant Principal Catherine Halbuer and Principal Rick Fleming participate in the groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 7.

Max Aronson, Sports Editor

Thuds, drills, engines, and temporarily out-of-service water fountains have marked the school day since October of last year. They come as a consequence of West Shore’s newest major construction project: the school’s first concession stand, which will also serve as West Shore’s first ticket booth. The 760-square-foot building will cost approximately $350,000 and will measure 38 feet by 20 feet.

West Shore was the last high school in Brevard to construct a concession stand and ticket booth, according to Dean of Facilities Catherine Halbuer, who stated that the school has “athletic facilities that are below the other schools in the county”. Halbuer said the project will allow the school to perform a much wider range of athletic services than before.

“There will now be a location where whatever group is going to run the concession stand will have a secure location for chilling drinks, there will be ice out there. It’ll be an improvement for the facilities for the athletes, or even children in P.E. that need the trailer, so that’ll be much better access for those folks,” she said. “It’s going to house the ticket booths so the ticket takers don’t have to be outside in the elements and can be in a more secure location with the money. It’s going to have the trainer room with the [athletic] trainer, it’s going to have small athletic storage and then some school storage, because we lost the portable at the far side of the soccer field.”

Halbuer said the concession stand will sell only pre-packaged foods.

“It’s not a big concession stand,” Halbuer said. “We’re not doing the hamburgers and hot dogs like other schools, because that would have required more kitchen equipment, training for staff to be in there. So like when we have Five Guys nights and Five Guys bring the hamburgers and the hot dogs pre-wrapped, you can [do that] because they bring you a receipt with the time on it, there’s all these weird rules, so we can still have those nights.”

The project will be built by Canaveral Construction Company, which has been contracted by West Shore four times in the past, including to replace the school’s air conditioning and hot water lines. Its exact cost will be $350,334.36. Of that, approximately $123,000 will go into the building’s structure, drywall, insulation and painting; $122,200 will go into installing utilities like electricity, plumbing and air conditioning and $66,000 will go into fees, liabilities, and bonds.

Halbuer attributed the price to the increased costs of construction materials and extra expenses related to commercial construction.

“There’s a lot that’s involved with commercial [construction],” she said. “There’s engineering, there were utilities that had to be tapped into, some possibly had to be relocated. When you build a house and they come out, mark where water and gas lines are, that’s free for houses, but for commercial [construction], you have to pay for it. You know, there is a lot of work for that.”

Halbuer said the money required to fund the project was generated mostly through state and county surtaxes dedicated to creating equity among high schools, although West Shore itself raised $60,000 for the project, according to Brevard Public Schools.

“They used the sales tax money for that project if I’m not mistaken, the half-penny [tax] if I’m not mistaken,” Halbuer said, “[and] that second sales tax approval that was talking about doing the equity between the different schools.”

Michael Harckom, Vice President of Operations for Canaveral Construction Company, said that most of the project has gone according to plan, but a few adjustments have been made, including switching to fire-rated trusses and changing the stainless steel serving shelf to one made of reinforced concrete.

“There had been some slight changes based on material availability, labor availability, and some minor changes in design to come up with some better, more cost-effective methods,” Harckom said.

Halbuer said the functions of the building will extend beyond athletics.

“For Powderpuff, it’ll help with the crowd control and everything else,” she said. “And then think about Wildcat Challenge, the craziness out there. We’ll be able to have things much more organized and in a better format for all the kids. And, God forbid, we have to evacuate, we now have another location out there where we could supply water and things for the student, should that arise.”

Sophomore Adrian Mahindra said he believes a concession stand will benefit the school greatly.

“I think that a concession stand should have been one of the first things we built for sports,” Mahindra said. “It would have helped generate a lot of funding for sports I think. I mean, we need the money. The soccer fields are ripped up and there’s no track here anymore. We used to host a lot of events, but we can’t anymore.”

Plans to build a rubberized track at West Shore are in the works, according to Halbuer, but she stated that West Shore administration believes building a concession stand is a greater priority.

“Every other place in the district has the concession stand, so we’ve been pushing for that probably for four years to do that,” Halbuer said. “In order to get this through, one of the concessions that Mr. Fleming had told them that this was a bigger priority than the track for us to get this done. Because we needed a ticket booth, we needed to have that for our teams and everything else. And also we park on our track, so that’s another little bit of caveat that’s in there.”

Senior Faith Collins, however, said she feels building a concession stand at West Shore is not a necessity.

“I feel like the money going into it might not equal the money that comes out of it, especially with sports attendance,” Collins said. “Like with basketball games, when they tried to do concessions it didn’t really work that well. I think it’ll be a benefit for other schools that come here. So, if they’re traveling and stuff there’s food for the parents and all them, but I think for us personally it’s not that big of a deal because we have Sonic and stuff nearby.”

Mahindra said he believes the concession stand will generate a worthwhile amount of money.

“It’s definitely gonna make a difference compared to having just a food truck at the games,” Mahindra said. “The food truck is still going to be here, so I think it’s gonna double the money. The food truck made a lot of money, and if the food truck could, the concession stand could definitely. I mean, a lot of students come out and they have money to spend on food.”

Harckom cited difficulties in obtaining materials as the greatest obstruction to finishing the project on-schedule.

“We live in a different environment now between COVID, and our deliveries getting here timely is the most difficult challenge,” he said. “ It all has to do with material changes, material deliveries. Again, everything in our environment is difficult to get timely.”

The building was scheduled to be completed on Dec. 31, 2022, but Halbuer and Harckom both predicted it would be completed in early 2023.

“The engineering was really worrisome because we have a lot of underground cabling for internet, water, and everything else, so you could see them out there making adjustments a few times, tweaking it exactly for everything that we needed.” Halbuer said. “The goal is to be done for January. We’re hoping sometime in the beginning of January, end of January. This school year, this school year, hopefully this school year.”