A New Track-and-Field Hall in Celje for Training Future Olympic Champions Is Being Built at a Quickened Pace
A new track-and-field hall for the Gymnasium No. 1 in Celje will soon be put into operation. The old hall was once a place for training six Olympians, who are now representing Slovenia in Rio de Janeiro.
Celje. A new track-and-field hall is being built at a quickened pace near the Gymnasium No. 1 in Celje, which has been waiting for this construction for several years. The works are expected to be finished by 28 August 2017, and the gymnasium students will have to train in the old building for another year. Obviously, the old hall is not that bad, since it has presented the world with six Olympic athletes, who are currently representing Slovenia in Rio de Janeiro.
The construction of the gymnasium’s new hall was scheduled to start as early as 2008, however the elections changed the government, and Milan Zver had no authority any longer. An additional complication was caused by a change in the legislation concerning the flood protection issue. Later the entire project had to be reconsidered, which slowed down the process of obtaining the necessary documentation. A new construction permit was received in November 2010, and then a waiting period started.
Despite the postponement in starting the track-and-field hall construction, the gymnasium’s sports infrastructure was developing and improving. “All the time, our projects were included into the budget, which is very important. In 2010, we renovated the exterior sports grounds. At the same time the Ministry of Education actively helped us and met our needs,” the Director Anton Šepetavc says.
The funds for the track-and-field hall construction were budgeted for 2016 and 2017. The cost of construction and repair works will be 2.7 million euros, and the room equipment (stands, gates, baskets, etc.) will cost nearly half a million euros. According to the relevant ministry, the tender for purchasing equipment is already open. A supplier will be determined in October. The GH Holding Company is the contractor, which is obliged to complete the construction works before installing the equipment in the first half of next year. The track-and-field hall must obtain the appropriate operating authorization before the beginning of the next academic year, but Anton Šepetavc hopes that this will happen a little earlier than scheduled, “Given the pace of construction, it can happen a little earlier.”
From Celje to Rio
The new hall will be a modern sports complex. According to the project designed by the Arhitekt Ernst Company, the complex will include a handball court; a room with two compartments can be divided into three training halls. The stands will have a capacity of 900 persons. The facility will also provide wardrobes and a fitness centre. Until September 2017, the students will continue training in the old building. The Gymnasium has always paid great attention to sports, so it is proud of the fact that six of its graduates (judokas Ana Velenšek and Adrian Gomboc, track-and-field athletes Maja Mihalinec and Maruša Černjul, kayaker Peter Kauzer, and handball player Vid Poteko) represent Slovenia in Rio.