From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 42 - October 18, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

School board hears new center plan

by Jennie Oemig

At its regular monthly meeting on Oct. 11, the Sublette County School District (SCSD) #1 Board of Trustees heard from Jo Crandall, a founding member of the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC), and John Walter regarding the prospect of a new community center in Pinedale.

Crandall and Walter shared with the board the results of a survey that had been completed in regard to the building of a community center in Pinedale. The results showed that there was a need and public interest for some sort of community facility, Crandall said.

“There is a need for a community space outside of our usual source, which is the school district,” she said.

From the results that were collected, which gave the PFAC an idea of what the community wanted to be included in the center, it was determined that a small facility, with a large meeting room, gallery space and other rooms that could be used for various purposes.

“We decided that a joint-powers board would be a much more logical way to approach it,” Crandall said of getting some type of committee together to discuss the possible uses of the space, as well as the cost analysis and initial and future funding options.

She suggested that the board involve the county, the town, the Sublette Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), the PFAC, the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce and SCSD #1. Crandall said that all those organizations would benefit from and be able to utilize the facility for multiple purposes.

Prior to Crandall’s presentation, Treasurer Jim Malkowski said that he thought the fine arts council was getting ahead of itself in relying on the school district to help the project along before requesting any such aid. “I think they were counting on the school district and BOCES for funding,” Malkowski said.

As a member of the school board, BOCES and a joint-powers committee, Malkowski said he was also able to give Crandall and the rest of the fine arts council a glimpse of reality into what being on a joint-powers board would entail.

“I think it was an eye-opener for a lot of people,” he said of a meeting he had with the council.

SCSD #1 Superintendent Doris Woodbury said the PFAC had reason to believe they needed to find other funding sources to get the project off the ground. “The fine arts council had been told that it was a really ambitious project and they wouldn’t be able to pull it off by themselves,” she said.

Crandall said that people had been asking her about a facility in which to hold afterschool activities, as well as cooking and art classes.

She also said that if a facility of this nature were established, the community would be able to host regional and possibly even state athletic tournaments.

“I’m all for forming a joint-powers board …,” board member Mike McFarland said about Crandall’s suggestions, and gave her several other things to think about in regard to the planning of the project. Since the idea for the community center arose, Crandall said many people have given her suggestions about what other things to add to those plans.

“As people begin to think of this, we begin to get a lot of new ideas,” she said, adding that there are also several ideas floating around about how to fund the new facility. McFarland also suggested that, to get the board’s interest in getting behind the project, the PFAC may want to consider increasing the size of the facility instead of building a small one.

“We’re already in a tight pinch for seating in this venue,” McFarland said about the high school building. “[The board] would probably have more interest if we were able to get a bigger facility for an auditorium … We already have a facility that’s not big enough. In lieu of building something smaller, build something bigger.” Crandall said that at the current stage of the project planning, that option has not yet been ruled out.

“Nothing’s out of the possibility,” she said, adding that those who took the survey said they would prefer a more intimate setting so that the performers are close to the audience.

Though those comments will be taken into consideration, Walker said that the price that was quoted for a small community center was already something he did not feel comfortable with and he was unsure if a bigger facility would be monetarily feasible.

“When we go out fundraising, it might be different,” he said, acknowledging that if enough money were raised, a bigger facility would most likely be considered.

In other SCSD #1 Board of Trustees news:

• Superintendent Doris Woodbury announced that a community meeting would be held on Oct. 30 to discuss the new elementary school, for which two designs are under consideration.

• Vice Chair Ward Wise acknowledged the new PowerSchool, an Internet resource that allows parents to keep tabs on their children’s academic performance, as well as their attendance.

“It’s very proactive,” he said. “You can get to an issue before it becomes a problem.” Woodbury said the attendance aspect of the PowerSchool application is updated in real time, so if a student skips second period, his or her parents are aware right away.

• The board unanimously approved a contract for Michael Cummings to be hired as the school psychologist for the 2007-08 academic year. Malkowski asked that the salary of the new psychologist be reflected in the minutes.

• The hiring of Carrie Poole as the high school and middle school special education teacher for the 2007-08 academic year was unanimously approved by the board. Again, since it was not stated in the agenda, Malkowski asked that the salary for this position also be reflected in the minutes.

• The board unanimously approved the Okland Construction Change Order #19 for the Pinedale Aquatic Center (PAC) that increases the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) by $26,819. This change will provide for the moving of the party room refrigerator, new electrical outlets in the lobby, an additional layer of drywall in the daycare room, a new flagpole and light and an added rebar to the concrete bench in the old pool area that will create a transition where the existing floor meets the new floor.

• The appointment of Malkowski and Chair Bret Kingsbury to act as the Legislative Advocates with the Wyoming School Boards Association (WSBA) was unanimously approved by the board. The appointment of Malkowski to represent the school district at the WSBA Annual Delegate Assembly on Nov. 14 in Casper, Wyo., was also unanimously approved.

• Malkowski’s one-year term as a member on the PAC Joint-Powers Board has expired, As such, the board unanimously approved the reappointment of Malkowski to serve on that board for a three-year term. Kingsbury also asked about the status of the fans and ductwork in the aquatic center as well.

“That’s definitely something we have to fix,” he said.

• As of Oct. 3, the current enrollment in the SCSD #1 is 940, down from 951 at the start of the academic year, which was recorded on Sept. 4. Last year at this time, the enrollment was 841.

Woodbury said that seven of those students were from one family.

The increased enrollment in the district was also taken into consideration, with Wise asking that the board get an enrollment prediction for the 2008-09 school year in order to start getting prepared. He said the incoming eighth-grade class will be bigger than the senior class that’s going out and proper steps should be taken to accommodate them. Woodbury said that there has already been some preparation taking place, including the purchase of additional books.

The next meeting of the SCSD #1 Board of Trustees will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the board room of the high school administration building.

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