CENTERVILLE, IA – Construction has begun on a new 11,000-square-foot wrestling facility on the Indian Hills Community College Centerville campus. Ground was broken recently for the building which will include features such as a large three-mat practice facility, a student lounge, locker rooms and coaches’ offices. There will also be storage space for the competition mats.
Indian Hills Wrestling Head Coach, Cole Spree, who took the leap of faith to leave Ellsworth Community College, a program he had built into a perennial contender, to come to Centerville and build a program from the ground up, told Ottumwa Radio Group this new facility shows the commitment IHCC administration has to the wrestling program.
“Honestly, it was a collective effort,” Spree explained in regards to the facility’s design. “My visions, the administration’s visions, and it all rolls back into Dr. Monaghan (Athletic Director Brett Monaghan) saying, when I was applying for the position, that he would do it right. And I think if you see the facility, the layout of the facility, there’s no doubt that’s what’s happening.”
Indian Hills last fall announced the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling, with the program to be based on the Centerville campus beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. Noel Gorden, IHCC Dean at Centerville, was asked what the reaction has been since the announcement of the program on her campus.
“Our community has been incredibly supportive and excited,” she said. “Southeast Iowa is wresting country. Our facility combined with the Centerville School District’s wrestling facilities will make the overall facilities among the finest in the Midwest.”
Spree echoed Gorden’s comments adding that he believes the facility will be, “in the top 5 of all junior college programs facilities,” which makes a great recruiting piece for the coaching staff. Spree explained that athletes come into a program like Indian Hills with aspirations of earning a scholarship offer to compete at the Division I or II level after their two year career in JUCO. By being able to offer a state-of-the-art training facility, Spree has no doubt it will draw top talent to the program. Currently, he feels the number of female wrestlers is at an outstanding spot, and Spree hopes to have the number of male wrestlers over 30 by this Fall with scholarship athletes and walk ons combined.
It is hoped the new facility will be finished later this year, according to Gorden, who estimates a date of completion sometime in November.