Field house: dangerous summer heat


By Grace Carpenter

Walking into the field house in mid-August, sweat immediately appears on everyone’s forehead and water is needed to stop the feeling of heatstroke. The field house is extremely hot and humid and the different teams dread the hours of exercise they know they have to do. Everyone gives each other a worried look and they start running laps.

If you have not had the opportunity to see the field house, it is a very large and beautiful space. Many sports use it for their normal practices. It has four courts and a track that spans 200 meters around. It sounds great, but the only problem with the structure is that it gets extremely hot during the summer.

Taylor Mirshak, a member of the varsity poms team, said she loved to practice in the facility during the spring, fall, and winter but the summers are very hard. “The field house gets really hot in the summer. It is hard to function and most people need water every few minutes,” said Taylor. 

Glen Wilson, Athletic Director for HHS, answered questions many may have. We often hear the faculty use the term “climate-controlled”, and he was able to explain what that meant. “The thermostat is set at a particular period of temperatures. If one thinks they are going to decrease the temperature by opening doors, it is not going to help. It is designed to stay in a span of temperatures as best as it can and alternative methods that we may try like opening a door or bringing in ice bags are not going to help bring down the temperature,” said Wilson.

Even though Wilson was not employed at the high school when the field house was built, he still knows how hot it can become in there. “I really appreciate our student-athletes and students when it is a muggy day and they make it work. It is a wonderful space and we get a lot of compliments on it,” said Wilson. He really enjoys the space, along with many other athletes during their season. 

The high school can come up with some solutions to cool down the field house. There are fans in the East Gym that help regulate the temperature greatly. Fans like those, if placed in the field house, can also help with the temperature. Also, keeping water and ice readily available so that athletes do not overheat.

The field house is a beautiful structure that is used many times every day. That being said, the problem involving heat in the summer needs to be addressed. We need to keep our athletes healthy and away from possible dehydration or heatstroke.