By Diana Windley
This month marks two years since the official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration of the Trojan Century Center. The 46,600-square-foot physical education and recreation facility sits on the district campus between Morgan High School and football field. The building houses an artificial turf practice field for football/baseball/soccer/golf, an indoor track, basketball/volleyball/tennis court and two classrooms.
“The addition of Trojan Center to our campus has allowed our school district to host tournaments and activities that were not previously possible,” stated Wade Murdock, Morgan High School principal. “Not only do these events bring more outside people and dollars into our community, but they also give our students, coaches, administrators and transportation personnel the opportunity to remain close to home–saving time and money.”
Earlier this year, Morgan High School used the Trojan Center to house a 10-team junior varsity and varsity wrestling tournament sponsored by the Air Force. The Trojan Center has also been used to help host academic events such as the recent region Sterling Scholar competition.
For the first time in recent memory, Morgan High School hosted a girls’ basketball tournament with another one scheduled for the upcoming season.
“Morgan High School will host a girls’ basketball winter tournament in the coming year that will include teams from Fremont, Riverton and Timpanogos High Schools,” stated MHS Girls Basketball Coach Cade Morrell. “The Trojan Center is a huge asset when it comes to these types of events.”
The Trojan Center is particularly busy during the basketball season.
“While the main high school gym is being used for the varsity games, at the same time the freshman and sophomore games are happening in the Trojan Center,” added Coach Morrell. “It saves an enormous amount of time to have the games played simultaneously.”
As Morgan High School’s enrollment has grown to more than 800 students, the number of athletes participating in sports has also increased. The Trojan Center is particularly helpful to athletes and their coaches training for spring outdoor sports that can have games and meets begin as early as mid-February as dark winter evenings and inclement weather no longer hinder practices.
“The Trojan Center provides our baseball team with a year-round practice facility that is second-to-none,” stated MHS Baseball Coach Tony Jarrett. “We never worry about rain-outs or snow-outs during our winter workouts or spring seasons.”
On top of school-related sports and education, the Trojan Center has been used to host youth sports clinics. “We are able to expose more youth to the game of baseball by hosting indoor clinics during winter months,” added Coach Jarrett. “Last year, for example, several hundred youth baseball players attended our winter clinics in Morgan at a fraction of the price they would have paid to attend clinics outside the county.”
Personal wellness programs have also been given a boost with the Trojan Center. It’s not uncommon to see walkers and runners from the community making laps around the indoor track during early mornings or late evenings – especially during the winter months.
The ticket booth, concessions area and restrooms accessible from outside of the Trojan Center have been great boons in fundraising activities such as the American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” and the Morgan Education Foundation’s “Color Us Bright” Fun Run.
The Morgan County Special Olympics Team also uses the Trojan Center as a training facility.
“The Trojan Center has been nice to have when the weather is cold and rainy,” stated Carol Mecham, head of the Morgan County Special Olympics Delegation. “It allows us to practice track as well as turbo jab (a form of javelin).”
Although the Trojan Center is utilized by the community for various activities, the primary reason for building the facility, according to administrators, was to enhance the educational and athletic experiences of students in the Morgan County School District.
“Over and above our high school students, it’s not uncommon to have students from Morgan Middle School or Morgan Elementary use the facility for special recreational activities,” noted Principal Murdock. “We are using the Trojan Center to benefit our students beginning with kindergarten through graduating seniors.”