Jensen gets contract for wrestling room project

A revamped wrestling room with more space and better climate control will make its debut at Fort Dodge Senior High next season.

The wrestling room will be primarily used for team practices. To get to that point, the old FDSH auxiliary gym will need to be converted into a wrestling room.

On Monday, the Fort Dodge Community School District board awarded a contract for that conversion project.

Jensen Builders Ltd., of Fort Dodge, submitted a low bid of $437,000 and were awarded the contract.

The wrestling room conversion project was included in the $27 million general obligation bond that passed about a year ago.

Three other bids were received for the project. Kolacia Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge, submitted a bid of $453,000; Peterson Construction, of Webster City, submitted a bid of $477,700; and Woodruff Construction, of Fort Dodge, submitted a bid of $495,470.

Allers Associates Architects, of Fort Dodge, is the architect for the project.

Allers set a probable cost for the project at $547,300.

The current wrestling room is located between the boys locker room and shower areas, south of the main gym complex. Its size is less than ideal and its access could be more convenient, according to Travis Filloon, director of building and grounds.

“You have to go through the boys locker room to access it and it’s a smaller space with minimal climate control,” Filloon said.

The room is going to be moved into what is considered the old auxiliary gym. That space will be about three times larger than the existing wrestling room, according to Filloon.

It will also have better climate control, he said.

“The climate control for that space will allow for fresh air as well as the ability to superheat the space, as they use it in that function for wrestling,” Filloon said.

About two-and-a-half large wrestling mats will be able to fit within that space, according to Doug Van Zyl, superintendent.

Initial plans call for a complete replacement of the existing wood flooring. The new flooring will be cushioned through the use of foam pads.

The wrestling mats will be placed on top of the new cushioned floor, a setup that has been proven to reduce injury, according to Filloon.

“This new wrestling room will provide us the opportunity to increase the amount of space available to make the wrestling room safer, and a more teachable space,” Filloon said. “Before, they didn’t have as much room to spread out and do that as they are trying to teach the kids moves to learn wrestling. The safety and the conditions will be improved with the fresh air and operational equipment that will be installed.”

The mat area will be roughly 60 by 100 feet.

No major structural walls are being removed, Filloon said.

The ceiling throughout the room will be about 14 feet tall.

The remaining portion of the room will be used for exercise and storage. That encompasses another 26 by 60 feet of space, Filloon said.

“We are totally starting from scratch in that big open space,” Filloon said.

“The biggest ticket items are the general contractor fees for doing the labor, the new wall and the mechanical room being the highest and right behind it is the electrical,” Filloon said. “There will be an air handling unit that will be added to that space to bring in fresh air and raise the temperature.”

Construction is to begin in May with substantial completion set for September.

Through May 1, the old auxiliary gym will be used during physical education classes and basketball practices.