Auxiliary Gym Proposal Presented to School Board

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

A proposal to build an auxiliary gym near the Armory was presented to the Winner School Board in a special meeting Monday night.

Supt. Bruce Carrier explained the school district has the funds to build a 90 x 100 foot structure without raising taxes or a bond issue. He said the estimated cost of the project would range from $1.8 to $2 million.

Carrier presented drawings of four proposed locations for a new auxiliary gym. One would be south of the administration building, another would be east of the Armory, a third proposal would be in the southwest corner of the Armory and the final one would be between the high school and the Armory and would have a connection to the high school.

The proposed gym would be large enough to have two basketball or two volleyball matches going cross court for middle school and/or grade school use. It would seat 200 to 250 people and have a wood floor.

The building would contain six baskets, two on the main court and four on side courts.

There would be a movable screen to separate the main court when needed.

There would be a small reception area which would contain restrooms and a small concession area plus would have two dressing rooms.

There would be two storage areas for physical education and athletic equipment.

In addition, there would be a custodial area and small office area for physical education teacher and officials.

Dan Aaker, activities director, said with the current middle school auditorium downtown the middles school students have to be bussed for practice.

He said the tile floor is slick and is a safety issue. He noted it is an aging facility that will need continuous maintenance and upgrades to use at the current level.

Aaker said an auxiliary gym would prevent wear and tear on the Armory as physical education classes would be held in the new building. He said it would reduce the set up/takedown of breakfast and lunch tables and be more flexible for setting up games and concerts.

Aaker added it would help in flexibility with practices and games. On double header nights a C and JV games can be played at one site.

He added that other schools Winner’s size have auxiliary gyms including Wagner, Bon Homme, Parkston, Mobridge and Miller.

Business manager Laura Root explained the funding plan for start of the 2016-2017 school year.

She said from the 2015-2016 budget $400,000 would be used for capital outlay and $250,000 form impact aid.

From the 2016-2017 budget, $200,000 would be used from capital outlay and $250,000 from impact aid.

This would give the district $1.1 million toward the project. The remainder of the cost would come from a combination of reducing the capital outlay fund balance and borrowing the  funds for five years.

Root said funding for the auxiliary gym for the start of the 2017-2018 school year would use $400,000 from capital outlay and $250,000 from impact aid from the 2015-2016 budget; $200,000 from capital outlay and $250,000 form impact aid from the 2016-2017 budget and $400,000 from capital outlay and $250,000 from impact aid from the 2017-2018 budget.

This would give the district $1.75 million toward the project. The remainder of the cost would come from reducing the capital outlay fund balance $250,000.

Root said the $88,000 payment made from capital outlay budget for the high school heating and cooling project will end Jan. 20, 2017.

No architect has been hired and no decision was made on the project at Monday’s meeting.

Tovi Bartels, who works with the youth basketball and coaches a Y ball team, says one of the biggest underserved areas is youth. She said she would like to see an auxiliary gym plus keep the middle school gym.  Bartels said there is a need for gym space for kids to practice. Bartels says she supports the proposal.

Carrier explained if a new gym is built the school would continue to operate the current middle school gym.

Board member Rusty Blare questioned if the school district could afford to do both.

The superintendent explained financially the school district could handle both buildings.

Wayne Meyer suggested the school eliminate the current administration building on 7th street and suggested putting the auxiliary gym in that location.

Carrier said the discussion of whether to hire an architect will be on the April 13 meeting agenda. If the school board gives the OK to move forward with the project at the April meeting, a committee will be formed to select a location for the proposed building.

In other business, the school board hired Darrel LaDeaux as a fifth grade teacher. Also hired was Tania DeMers as middle school and high school special education teacher.

The board accepted the resignation of 5th grade teacher Crystal Sinkler who was taught in Winner for 10 years.

The board met in executive session to prepare for contract negotiations.

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