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The Board Construction Steering Committee met on June 23, 2014. The following items were discussed:
Research of Options for Additional Gym Space and Pools Needs
At the June 6 meeting, members heard preliminary numbers from RB+B Architects on the cost to make the existing CYMS gyms functional for practice space after demolition of the rest of the CYMS buildings. The members requested a more stripped-down cost estimate, as if the gyms would be used solely as swing space. Before committee members heard these new estimates they heard from NCSD Activities/Athletics Manager Terry Hooker about options for gym and pool space rentals for NCHS swing space use. The facilities that Hooker researched are as follows: Casper Rec Center, Casper College, Wyoming Athletic Club, YMCA, Poison Spider’s gym, St. Anthony’s, shared space at DMJH and/or CYMS, and the existing KW pool. Hooker ran through the plusses and minuses of each of the facilities, and the costs of each.
Next, RB+B presented the old CYMS gyms option. They told the committee if the gyms are used only as practice space the building would not require fire sprinklers – a significant cost savings. RB+B told committee members that to accommodate a 4-year usage period the gyms could be functional for $237,900. This cost includes the existing locker rooms. If they wished to add the ability to house spectators, the cost would increase to $620,000 because of fire sprinklers, heating, and spectator restrooms. Committee members had also discussed keeping the existing KWHS gyms, but RB+B said that would prove to be much too problematic and difficult.
Next, committee members discussed pool options – focusing on retaining the existing KWHS pool. The options centered around keeping the pool and as many as three adjacent CTE shops. NCSD will look into the cost of saving the pool and the adjacent wood shop, then possibly the pool, the wood shop, and the metal shop.
NCHS will lose its pool in demolition this summer, so their swing space pool options were also discussed at the meeting. It was agreed by the committee to contact the Casper YMCA for NCHS PE purposes. The YMCA pool was not only the biggest pool available, but also offered the lowest rental rates. The KWHS pool will be shared between KWHS and NCHS. A shared practice schedule will be worked out between coaches of the two teams.
Discussion then returned to the gym space issue. Hooker told committee members it would be possible to use existing gym space within the District for NCHS swing space purposes. Upon hearing this, committee member Rita Walsh said she would prefer to not spend any money on saving the old CYMS gyms. Hooker did mention it isn’t the most ideal option in his mind, saying the best option is saving the old CYMS gyms. The logistics of using the Poison Spider gym as practice space were discussed (times, bus travel to/from, and student time spent travelling). After discussion, three options separated themselves from the others:
NCHS’s representatives at the meeting (Chad Sharpe and Christy Olsen) advocated for the continued use of the old CYMS gyms, because of the ease in travel and scheduling. Committee members Kevin Christopherson and Pat Keefe lauded the old CYMS site for safety reasons. Keeping those gyms wouldn’t force NCHS students to drive or be transported to Poison Spider’s facility. The committee members will discuss the three options and vote publicly at the June 23 board meeting.
During the board meeting: The Board voted to approve option number two, paying to fix-up the gyms for practice use only. The money will come from the Board Priority fund.
Bus Hub Info
NCSD Transportation Director Syd Webb, Executive Director for Business Services Dennis Bay, and Chief Public Relations Officer Kelly Eastes presented to the Board a plan to maximize efficiency within the District’s busing system. The new plan is based around a “hub”, to be stationed at the block adjacent to Park Elementary (site of old 1224 Club). In the new system all elementary and middle school bus-riders will be responsible to either walk or be dropped off at their nearest neighborhood school. From there they will be transported, along with an employee monitor, to the hub site where they will board a bus to their school of choice. The new system should dramatically cut down NCSD’s bus-route mileage (currently at more than 8,000 miles per day), saving fuel costs, and minimizing wear-and-tear on the buses. The new plan should also reduce bus traffic around schools by approximately 80%.
In order to make the site ready to serve as a hub the District will spend roughly $200,000 to make minor improvements to the building (to be used to shelter students), install short, visually pleasing fencing around the perimeter, and to make a turn out lane for the buses. Next, the District will continue its communication efforts with the residents in close proximity to the proposed hub, as well as families of bus-riders through informational pieces and community meetings. More information on the bus hub system will be available as the new school year approaches. Committee members commended the plan following the presentation.
The next Construction Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for July 18.