Trustees approve second option for new gym
The Churchill County School Board took a big leap Thursday night to approve an architectural concept for a new auxiliary gym at the high school.
By a 6-1 vote with Trustee Nona McFarlane opposing, the board only approved a selection of a concept, one of three presented by architect Brad Van Woert. Not included in the vote establishing a budget for the project and direction on future steps.
During his 25-minute presentation, Van Woert said he was asked by the district’s High School Design Committee to design some concepts for an auxiliary gym that varied in floor plans and costs.
“We came up with one scheme but with variations of the scheme,” he said.
The committee favored option No. 2 that contained an upstairs, no classroom and about 23,000-square feet. The cost for the new structure could range between $6.2-$6.5 million, which, Van Woert said, would make it the least expensive option.
“The wrestling room can also be used for volleyball,” Van Woert said.
He also said the restrooms could be accessed from the outside.
Trustee Carmen Schank questioned the safety about a second-story weight room. Van Woert assured her there would be no problems.
Van Woert said the plan is to build the new gym next to the existing classrooms and locker rooms on the west side, but soil samples must be taken of the area before any process moves forward.
He also showed a similar gymnasium that was built two years ago at Eagle Valley Middle School east of Carson City.
McFarlane, though, expressed her concern that if the gym were built, where would the school district find the money to pay for its upkeep and utilities since CCSD has been cutting programs and staff because of the budget. According to McFarlane, she said it costs as much as $15,000 a month to operate the main gym and wonders how much it would cost per month to operate a second gym.
“I suggest the superintendent get an estimate of the monthly costs,” Trustee Clay Hendrix added.
Hendrix then made a motion to adopt the second option.
The board also showed unanimity in approving nine other items listed under New Business by approving various contracts or purchasing items for the schools.
Trustees also approved the sale of bonds in the amount of $9.3 million.
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, Phyllis Dowd, director of Business Services, informed the school board that the budget needed to be augmented because of unexpected substitute teacher costs. She said several teachers will be out because of one reason or another.
“It is not look like a worst case scenario, but it’s not where I want to be,” Dowd said.
Board President Ron Evans said it is to difficult to budget when the school district does not know it will need long-term substitutes. Dowd said, however, she did not take into account the long-term substitute pay, which is higher after a substitute teacher has been in the classroom.
“Where’s the checks and balances in all this?” questioned Trustee Rich Gent.
“We try to project as far out as we can,” Dowd responded.
McFarlane said she is concerned when a budget item is in the red.
“We are overextended, and we need to get it fixed,” he added.
“The board voted 6-1 to augment the budget with McFarlane opposed.