Roundhouse: A Marshalltown icon

I’ve seen plenty of buzzer beaters, heard the Bobcat Fight Song hundreds of times and spoke as both a student and alumna in the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. It holds a special place in my heart — and I know I’m not alone in that.

Before officially starting high school, I used the Roundhouse for weight lifting and other training at swim team practice. I remember laughing with teammates, which was about the only thing that could help make 6 a.m. practice more bearable. I also remember running the stairs (a swimmer’s worst nightmare — or at least mine), just another part of the hard work learned from participating in sports.

My class — 2014 — was the last to graduate in the “old” Roundhouse. Before the days of air conditioning the space, sitting through the graduation ceremony in a cap and gown in late May was a little toasty. At least I had a good excuse for why my cheeks were red when I delivered my speech with a classmate.

Much more than air conditioning in the building has changed since then. Next weekend the community will be able to attend an open house to see the latest renovations after Phase II construction.

The building has been and will be a point of pride for the community long into the future. Whenever friends from out of town ask for a “Marshalltown tour,” the Roundhouse is always one of the stops I have to show. Usually people are blown away when they see it. Not only is the structure unique, but it’s massive, and many times not what people expect to see in a high school gym.

It’s much more than just a gym and athletics. It’s a symbol of the community and Bobcat pride. The efforts to renovate it are also symbolic. Never underestimate this community’s ability to rally behind a cause.

It’s a spectacle. The latest renovations have only made it better. But it’s not just for us to enjoy. The Roundhouse is the first glimpse into our city many visitors get as they come to play or watch sports. It’s one we can all be proud of.

What a cool asset for Marshalltown.

The unveiling will be 5 p.m. Saturday with a dedication ceremony for the Allie Morrison Wrestling Training Room and a ribbon cutting with an open house after. The public is welcome to attend and can meet in the Roundhouse’s main gym. Many former Bobcat wrestlers and coaches are expected to be in attendance at the event.