Thursday, March 12th, 2009
By Margie Wuebker
Athletic center now reality
  NEW BREMEN - Board of education members toured the new Cardinal Booster Center on Wednesday night with vision committee members who took a $600,000 dream and turned it into reality for student athletes.
Committee spokesman Scott Kuenning said the building located to the rear of the high school parking between the football field and the softball diamond evolved over the course of five years. The New Bremen Cardinal Booster Club put up 40 percent of the money with local residents and businesses donating the rest.
"We simply did not have enough room at the high school," Kuenning said. "Some of the weight equipment was in storage due to lack of space and we were doing workouts in the hallway. It was not a good situation for the athletes or the building for that matter."
The 150-by-60-foot building includes a weight room roughly 3 1/2 times larger than the former facility. The large all-purpose room can be utilized for team practice and physical education classes as well as other purposes like cheerleading practice and community fitness classes. Additional amenities include a three-lane track for running and hurdle training, batting cages, a golf net, restrooms and 25-by-55-foot storage room.
"A year ago we stood outside on the gravel and promised to get this done," Kuenning said, standing near fellow committee members Brad Smith, Jay Winner, Greg Cox, Burt Fiser and Gary Jones. "There were times we wondered whether this day would come."
The building is patterned after the Celina Aluminum Precision Technology (CAPT) sports facility for Celina High School athletes, according to Winner. However, the new center does not have locker room facilities as these tend to be more costly. Continuing to use the existing high school locker rooms should cause no problems given the close proximity of the buildings.
Motivational posters decorate some walls including a large one promoting Cardinal pride in the weight room with more decorative plans in the works.
"What we have here is basic and bare bones," Kuenning said. "Our hope is alumni with artistic ability will step up and help us decorate the walls in true Cardinal fashion."
Smith, who oversees finances for the ambitious project, said donations continue to arrive and the committee is appreciative to all those who have contributed in the past as well as those contemplating future donations. All contributions are channeled through the New Bremen Foundation making them tax deductible.
"The Cardinal Booster Center is an example of how much the community cares about its student athletes," school board President Mark Barhorst said. "The building is a wonderful addition to the school district and best of all it did not involve taxpayer money."

If you go:
What: Open house of new Cardinal Booster Center in New Bremen
When: March 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The center is located south of the high school between the football field and softball diamond.
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• Nurse sentenced for fondling young patient
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