Construction of new Eastwood wrestling facility under way


PEMBERVILLE – Two athletic organizations in the Eastwood School District have joined forces to fund a new
$100,000 wrestling facility.
Construction on the 6,000-square-foot building started early this summer near the high school and should
wrap up by September, according to Rob Eaton, a member of the Eagle Wrestling Club.
"With all of the issues we’ve got with building the schools, we’ve got to get the word out that the
school isn’t paying for this, not a dime … and we want everyone in the community to know that,"
he said.
Eastwood has struggled to pass a bond issue for building a new elementary building. It was the failure of
a levy last year that started Brian Sabo thinking about the joint funding.
Sabo is president of the district’s Community Athletic Project, which has raised thousands of dollars
over the last few years for a variety of projects, mostly facilities. He’s also a middle school teacher,
seventh-grade football coach, assistant varsity track coach and heavily involved with the weight room’s
The weight room, Sabo said, at 20 feet by 30 feet, is not an ideal space to work out in. The facility is
used by 45 kids on a daily basis during the school year and about 150 kids during the summer.
Over the years CAP has funded an all-weather track and improvements at the stadium. Next up was getting a
new weight room.
The levy that failed last year was going to provide some funding for a weight room, but Sabo said when it
didn’t pass he started to realize the group was probably on its own. And at the rate that they were
raising money, it would be years before a new wrestling facility would be a reality.
CAP decided to approach the Eagle Wrestling Club about a compromise.
Sabo said CAP proposed giving $35,000 to the club to put toward its wrestling building. In return, the
weight room could expand into the space the wrestling club was using in the high school gym.
"The primary purpose is wrestling, but the area they’re vacating in school will be expanded into a
weight room and training room for all athletes in Eastwood," Eaton said.
The Eagle Wrestling Club had raised another $36,000 over the last 10 years and the total money was enough
to move forward with the building. Eaton said another $30,000 is still needed.
He’s confident the fund-raising will continue at a good pace since wrestling is popular in Eastwood.
"In the last five of 10 years, we’ve placed at state. So it’s a very high-profile program that the
community gets behind," Eaton said. "We’re a very, very incredibly active program."
About 100 students from elementary to high school participate in wrestling.
The new wrestling building will also have a handicap-accessible bathroom for other events, including
baseball and football.
Sabo said his goal of an expanded weight room will also be realized.
"We’re both getting what we need," he said. "I think all parties are extremely happy and
excited about this."
Now CAP will start working on its next goal, possibly putting in a soccer game field next to the practice
field or a press box by the baseball-softball area.
Sabo said CAP mainly raises money through a reverse raffle held in the late winter or early spring. It
generates about $10,000 annually.
"It’s fun to raise that money and invest in the kids. It’s very rewarding."
Eaton cited several companies that have helped out with the project, including Poggemeyer Design Group,
Rahe Construction, DeWese Plumbing, M&R Concrete, Rudolph Libbe, Henry Gurtzwieler Inc. and Gem
Eastwood Superintendent Brent Welker said the new building will be a wonderful, multi-use facility for
the district.
"It just shows the commitment of our community," he said.

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