USD 411 Board of Education members took a walking tour of proposed building change areas Monday at the Goessel High School.
“Our last plan for building improvements included bumping out our high school gymnasium area to the north to include a larger storage area for maintenance and a possible expanded weight and fitness room,” Superintendent John Fast said. “Because of a significant difference in cost, we are now looking from a different perspective of moving some things around.”
Areas toured by board members included the current high school weight room, art room, and science room. The group discussed moving the current weight room into the art room, which would almost double fitness area size, and then moving the art room to the current science lab, connecting it to the open court yard for natural light. The art room would then be located conveniently next to the Emil Kym Art Gallery.
“To use the art room as a weight room we would need to knock out the concrete risers and take out the suspended ceiling,” Fast said. “But the result is that we could save over $200,000 in construction costs and still take care of our high priority needs.”
Maintenance needs for space could take over the vacated current weight room, resulting in the use of all new square footage in the district building project for classrooms.
“I want to emphasize the thing to remember yet is that even if we approve a final plan and it goes to a public vote for approval, there is still no guarantee that we will be able to go ahead with these expansion plans,” Fast said. “It all depends on what happens with the legislature. There could be new laws coming with stiff cuts to education. We want to wait until the end of May to see, but still proceed so we are ready to build if we can.”
The board approved the need for the formation of a building expansion steering committee. Fast said representation on the committee would come from board, staff, students, and community, with a plan to finalize specific plans as early as January.
In other business:
- The board approved Lloyd Builders of Ottawa, represented by Josh Walker, as the official construction company in charge of new building for the district’s expansion/upgrading project. Local bidders will be able to bid on all aspects of the project.
- Board members approved the hiring of Justin Balia, a Bethel College senior, as a second assistant high school boys’ basketball team coach. There are currently 27 boys out for basketball. Balia joins head coach Curtis Guhr and assistant coach Chad Lindeman.
- Board members discussed upcoming events including district building tours for the public on Sunday at 4 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.; and third grade Grandparents Day set for Tuesday.