MT. ZION, Ill. (WCIA) – It’s an area where you can host sports events and concerts. The field house has a full track, four basketball courts and more. And right next to it is the professional-level auditorium. Both things that bring Mt. Zion high school up a notch.

“We have a top of the line education. Our teachers are doing a great job on the academic part. We need to continue to buy more materials, supplies and things for them, and continue hiring the best teachers, but that’s already top of the line. Our facilities are where we felt like we were weak,” Travis Roundcount, the superintendent, said.

When Roundcount became superintendent for the Mt. Zion school district, he wanted to help upgrade those facilities. So, with the help of stake holders and people living in the community, in 2015 they opened the doors on a brand new sports facility and auditorium.

A place where athletes, musicians, and students could take their abilities to the next level.

“I was used to performing in a gym and before we had this space, that’s where the music ensembles would perform. In the intermediate school gym across the street. So, it’s definitely a marked improvement to have this facility,” Patrick Ward, the director of instrumental music, said.

“It’s been a great asset to our community, our programs have continued to improve. It’s nice having this space, courts, and track. Our track and field programs have really seen an uptick the last couple of years,” Jeff Schumate, a coach, said.

Both the coach and musical director said they see and hear the same reaction from others who see the facility for the first time.

“Well, it’s kinda neat when you host the indoor track meets for the high school in the spring and other schools come into it and they kind of have a look of awe, looking around and seeing the facilities. It’s nice to get other people’s perspectives when they see it,” Schumate said.

“It’s definitely they’re awe struck when they walk in and see the magnitude of our space,” Ward said. “I hear a lot of ‘I wish we had this at home’ on that day when they’re here.”

Bringing the space where students improve their athletic abilities and performing arts skills up, to meet their level in Our Town Mt. Zion.

“For us, we had the top-of-the-line students and programs in the music, and we needed a top-of-the-line national level facility to match the level of those students,” Roundcount said.

You can get inside this sports facility too. The superintendent said they open it up during the school year on certain days. So, people who live in the community can use it for free.

If you live outside of Mt. Zion, you can use it for a small fee. He said the people in the community helped pay for it, so they should be able to utilize it.