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Multi-Sport Athletic Facility for Diverse Sports Offering

As the county seat of Warren County, Indianola stands proud as a thriving, independent community just south of the Des Moines metro area. The Indianola Community School District has an equally rich heritage of education and sports prowess. However, several aging athletic facilities had the district in need of numerous upgrades. School district leaders selected Snyder & Associates to prepare an athletic facilities master plan for both the middle school and high school locations.

Beyond upgrades, the district was in need of a multi-purpose facility to accommodate an array of sports activities. From durable practice fields to competition-quality venues, our designers were enlisted to develop a plan to encompass several sporting events.

Site Analysis & Public Engagement Drive Design

The planning process began with a thorough site analysis of the existing conditions and athletic facilities at both school locations to determine necessary improvements. The preferred site for the multipurpose athletic facility is located directly south of the middle school building on the property that’s shared with the City of Indianola. This location would tie the sports complex with the new 30,000-square-foot Blake Fieldhouse addition on the east end of the middle school building. Opened in 2012, the Blake Fieldhouse was funded through the Indianola Community Youth Foundation and a donation from Indianola native and former Major League Baseball player, Casey Blake.

The desire was for a facility that could be used for school athletics, as well as other community events. As a result, significant public engagement and coordination with the school district, community athletic leagues, clubs, and other stakeholders was facilitated to ensure the community’s diverse athletic needs would be met and addressed by the master plan.

Vehicle and pedestrian site circulation were also closely studied to maximize land use and create enough parking for large community events. Our team determined that onsite parking would be required in multiple locations with spacious accommodations for over 1,000 vehicles.

Athletic Complex Plan Provides Professional-Level Amenities

A graphic representation of a multi-use athletic complex master plan for the City of Indianola.

The Master Plan for the Middle School location included numerous new playing fields and fan-friendly amenities.

Our team’s meticulous planning efforts developed a plan for the middle school grounds that features a tennis pavilion with six full-size courts, six natural turf baseball fields, an expansive field area that provides space for several multi-use recreational fields and outdoor practice areas. The generous field sizing allows flexibility of field markings for multipurpose athletic usage.

An open-concept, synthetic-turf football field stadium was incorporated and is surrounded by an all-weather track. Stadium bleacher seating accommodates up to 4,000 spectators and provides direct access to a large concession plaza. A synthetic turf field allows for all-weather play and competitive use while reducing maintenance needs. A detailed summary of synthetic turf maintenance recommendations was provided to the school district to guide long-term maintenance. To ease maintenance concerns, an elaborate subsurface drainage system for the football field and multi-purpose athletic field enhance playability and minimize downtime after inclement weather.

At the Indianola High School location directly across the street from the middle school, the Snyder & Associates team also provided design and construction services for a new softball and baseball complex. The athletic facility design portion of this project included two professional-level ball fields along with several stadium amenities that included a press box and bleacher accommodations at each field, a maintenance building, batting cages, and two regulation-size practice football fields.

Ensuring Safe & Playable Sports Field Conditions

The sheer amount of field space created by the master plan called for suitable soil conditions at all sites to ensure the health of the natural turf fields. Our team conducted soil tests at multiple locations prior to construction. These tests determined that specific soil amendments were needed to achieve favorable conditions for athletic seed mixes. Several other noteworthy project components that were utilized to foster natural grass turf health and playability include:

  • An integrated and centrally controlled irrigation system for all six soccer and practice fields, featuring high-efficiency technology to reduce water use and allow for easy monitoring. This also helps the natural turf recover faster in between athletic events and increases turf playability
  • Natural turfgrass mixes were carefully selected to withstand high-traffic field sports
  • Centrally located maintenance building for easy access to equipment and reduced maintenance time

The athletics field master plan developed by the Snyder & Associates professionals has guided the Indianola School District’s sports venue upgrades to where they stand today. The new facilities and amenities will provide the school’s athletes and the community-at-large with the space they need for generations to come.