Volume 104, Number 38 - September 20, 2007
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Skate park debated at school board
At its regular monthly meeting last Thursday, the Sublette County School District (SCSD) #1 Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a motion to hire an architect to help redesign the skate park on South Tyler Avenue.
On the agenda as a visiting delegation, Ken Konicek and Laurie Latta, representing the Skate Board Park Project Committee, spoke to the board about a meeting they had on Sept. 11 in which many different options were suggested.
“We’ve got some very good potential solutions for this,” Konicek said, adding that he wanted to know where the board stood on the topic before proceeding with any further plans.
Konicek said the committee had discussed the possibility of finding and purchasing another piece of property where a more adequate skate park could be constructed. “Would the board be willing to entertain the possibility of leasing the property to the county for parking?” he asked, adding that the possibility of leasing to purchase could also be an option.
If a new skate park were to be the solution the board would agree to, Konicek said it would be a success in the community.
“We know the kids will come,” he said. Latta said the plan the committee came up with would be a potential for collaboration of everyone involved by providing additional parking for the community and building a first-class skate park for youths.
During the committee’s discussion, Latta said one very important factor needed to be addressed before going ahead with planning for a new location and a new skate park. “The point was made that we can’t go through with this without the guarantee of a long-term lease from the school,” she said. Bret Kingsbury, chair of the school board, then asked what the committee would consider a long-term commitment, to which Konicek replied with 10 to 15 years.
“I think we can solve a number of issues if we just work together,” Konicek said. The board agreed that the topic would be discussed further during its executive session and a decision would be made on which way to go with that project.
After an hour-long executive session and discussion and approval of other new business, the skate park topic was revisited. With a motion made by Treasurer Jim Malkowski and a second from Clerk ML Baxley, the board had decided to move forward with Business and Finance Director Vern McAdams’ request to hire an architect to help with a concept and cost estimates for the redesign of the current skate park. With the motion on the table, Konicek realized the board might have dismissed any consideration of building a new skate park in an alternative location.
“You’re going to put it on the property down there [on South Tyler Avenue]?” he asked. “You’re not willing to entertain a substitute location?”
After receiving a negative response, Malkowski said the school district would be willing to incorporate parking spaces into the design for the skate park to try to accommodate the county.
“The commissioner said he was willing to take what he can get and I think this is what he’s going to get,” he said.
Not completely sold on the idea for a redesign, Konicek asked the board why they would pay for a new skate park when the county was willing to buy the property on South Tyler and purchase another parcel of land upon which the district could build a brand new skate park.
“We didn’t want to obligate it,” board member Mike McFarland responded. “If the county liquidated the property, that would tie our hands.” Ward Wise, vice chair of the school board, said that retaining the piece of land would be in the best interest of the school district, especially with enrollment on the rise.
“We might have to build something on that property in three years,” he said. With parking being incorporated into the redesign, Wise said the plan would also be beneficial to the county.
“This is a win-win for the whole community,” he said, adding that the possibility of having 50 to 60 additional parking spaces would alleviate parking concerns around the library and the courthouse.
In return for providing parking, Malkowski said the school board would be happy if the county would do its part by merely clearing the snow in the winter. Discussing drawings that were submitted by Brian Gray of WLC Engineering and the town Planning & Zoning Administrator Meghan Jacquet, Malkowski said the ideal site for parking spaces would be on the north end of the skate park.
“We’re kind of hoping it can be a one-way east and one-way west diagonal parking,” he said. “ … That would be far more efficient.” The board then voted unanimously to approve the hiring of an architect and move forward with a skate park redesign.
In other SCSD #1 Board of Trustees news:
• The board unanimously approved an out-of-state travel request for the middle school volleyball team to participate in a game in Rich County, Utah, on Sept. 29.
• The board approved the signing bonuses for 16 regular certified staff members, one special education certified staff member and one school psychologist. Wise, Kingsbury and Jamison Ziegler abstained from voting.
• The hiring of an additional one-year special education teacher for grades 5-12 for a one-year term was unanimously approved by the board.
• The elimination of one elementary Title I paraprofessional for the 2007-08 academic year due to lack of funding was unanimously approved. The board was made aware that the position it would be eliminating would be brought back under the next item of business, but under different funding. The hiring of an additional elementary general education paraprofessional for the 2007-08 academic year was unanimously approved by the board.
• In order to meet the needs of new students in the middle school, the board voted unanimously to increase a ¾-time special education paraprofessional position to full time and to hire an additional ¾-time special education paraprofessional.
• The board voted unanimously to approve recommendations for coaching assignments for the 2007-08 academic year. Audrey Nelson, middle school art teacher, will become a second coach for the eighthgrade volleyball team, which has 30 players. Michael Edison, middle school math instructional facilitator, will be assisting the middle school football program. Pending their coaching permit applications, Brandon Overdorff will be an assistant coach for the high school football team and John Mivshek will serve as the middle school football coach.
• The district activities handbook was revised to include a new set of training rules in. If any athlete were caught selling or dealing alcohol, tobacco products or drugs, he or she would be suspended from all activities for one year. With Malkowski voting against the motion because he said the rule should be customizable by sport, the board approved the revised handbook for the 2007-08 academic year.
• District Advisory Committee membership for the 2007-08 academic year was approved by the board. Wise abstained from voting.
• The board approved the creation of a Carl Perkins Committee and membership for the 2007-08 academic year. Wise abstained from voting.
• The board unanimously approved the Okland Construction Change Order #18 for the Pinedale Aquatic Center that increases the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) by $44,442. This change will provide for additional fill to bring the tennis court up to grade, additional demo work and a rerouting of the duct work in the leisure pool.
• The Long Building Technologies Change Order #1, which will reduce the contract costs by $165,542, was unanimously approved by the board.
• The board voted unanimously to approve the Groathouse Construction Change Order #10 that reduces the GMP difference by $27,241 and the contingency by $31,532.
• The board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Nelson Engineering to develop necessary plans to provide adequate water flows on the proposed site of the new elementary school.
• The board unanimously approved to hire VCBO out of Salt Lake City as the architect to begin work on the design for the new elementary school.
• Woodbury informed the board that enrollment was up by 109 students for the 2007-08 academic year, bringing the current enrollment to 963.
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