Physical Education Wing
In early 1968, the school board decided to create a facility for the physical education department. Walter Scholer from Lafayette and Gerald Guy from Marion were to design the plans for the new addition. Shambaugh & Son of Fort Wayne was the low bidder for mechanical contracting and Moorehead Electric Company of Marion was low bidder for electrical contracting.
Reynolds-Judah of Indianapolis stayed the low bidder for the bleacher installation. Separate bids were made for a 10-classroom wing, the replacement of the aluminum swimming pool with a concrete pool, and the removal of air conditioning in the gym. The low total building bid of $3,356,398 was proposed on the first week of April in 1968. The general contractor contenders were Willsey Construction of Indianapolis, Bowman Construction of Marion, and Baystone Construction of Muncie. The school board debated over general contractor bids for the construction, but Bowman Construction won with a bid of $1,872,719 ("Board Tries to Cut Construction Price").
On May 2, 1968, Superintendent Bernard McKenzie of Marion Community Schools opened the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the physical education wing ("New Project"). The final plans for the new wing included 10 classrooms, a gymnasium, swimming pool, wrestling room and gymnastics area, and a planetarium. The gymnasium was planned to seat 8,000 spectators, but the plans in the bid called for the installation of only 3,000 seats ("Construction Underway at Marion High School"). The planetarium portion of the addition amounted to only $50,000 of the $3 million allotted to the physical education wing. By the 1969-1970 school year, the planetarium was in full operation. The circular domed room housed a display unit that could project approximately 1,400 "stars" ("It's Skyward Look for the Young Generation at Marion's New Planetarium" 1). The physical education wing completion was anticipated for the fall of 1970, but it was finished before the 1970-1971 school year began ("Dedication Planned October 26th").