Home General Editorial Heartland Teacher/Coach Erik Wetjen Shares Benefits for the Proposed North Additions/Upgrades if...

Heartland Teacher/Coach Erik Wetjen Shares Benefits for the Proposed North Additions/Upgrades if the May 14 Bond Passes


Erik Wetjen has been teaching and coaching at Heartland for about 22 years. He has taught physical education for grades 7-12 and has coached junior high girls and boys basketball, track, and football during his tenure. He also has coached high school girls and boys basketball, track and football. He was the Heartland Athletic Director from 2015 through 2022.

Coach Wetjen has plenty of experience working with all phases of Heartland’s athletic department and knows firsthand the problems and issues with Heartland’s North athletic area. Here are the benefits he sees for the proposed North additions if the upcoming May 14 bond passes.


The locker rooms that we currently have lack ventilation, and their small size has been an issue during some classes, practices, and games over the years. The updated locker rooms would allow students and athletes more room for changing and storing equipment, privacy showers, and usable coach instruction at half-time of games. This would also allow the current visiting team to have their own locker room off the floor instead of going all the way to the old gym. 


The officials’ locker rooms would be a great benefit as this would give both men and women officials their own private changing area. Years ago, this wasn’t something that was an expectation that schools would provide for officials. Our current locker room lacks a suitable environment if we have both male and female officials officiating on the same day.


We currently have trainers who evaluate and treat our athletes on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the school year. At this time, we currently don’t have a designated training room that can be utilized specifically for this purpose. Trainers currently evaluate on the stage in the south gym. Having the athletes and trainers in their designated training room would allow for the proper evaluation of our athletes, materials stored in locked cabinets, and the whirlpool in an area that both males and females can use. The training room will be located next door to the new weight room for both rehab and strengthening exercises.


The exits on the north gym wall that we currently have allow moisture to enter the gym during the winter. This moisture gets under the gym floor and causes issues with rotting the wood. 


The new weight room would handle more students in class before and after school. Safety is always a priority, as our current setup limits the number of kids we can have in a class or in a summer strength training session. Utilizing this added space and having an area to work on strength and speed would be a huge benefit to our athletic programs. 

The outdoor athletics would also have the added benefit of doing indoor workouts on the synthetic turf due to poor weather conditions. This allows our athletes to stay out of the hallways doing running workouts. Supervising would be easier with everyone doing their strength and speed training workouts at the same time.  Currently, anyone with a disability or injury may have a challenging time accessing the weight deck because the stairs are the only means of entry to the weight deck. Having the new bond passed would allow us to have a weight room at ground level with easier access. 


The bond would allow us to put bleachers up on the weight deck, allowing band members or spectators to sit up top and enjoy the game. The current locker rooms for visiting teams would be easy to access and not be impeded by the band on the floor playing pre-game and at half-time as they head to the locker room.  

Having AC and better air movement in the gym would make physical education classes, volleyball practice, games, and May graduation for students and families more comfortable.


The dedicated concession area would allow us to serve our community and the fans during all activities where the concession stand is open with higher efficiency. This allows all food and beverages to stay in one location, and workers would not need to run from one building to another to get items. The concession crew wouldn’t have to share the space with the kitchen. Being in a better location will allow you to get back to the action without missing much.

For more information about the Heartland Bond Election, visit the Heartland Community School Website.