From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 3 - January 17, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

‘Futures Team’ planned for new school

by Jennie Oemig

While the location of the Sublette County School District (SCSD) #1 Board of Trustees meeting was relocated to the Bondurant School this month, the topic that generated the most discussion involved the next phase in the building of a new school in Pinedale.

As suggested by educational planner Frank Locker, Superintendent Doris Woodbury said the formation of an ad-hoc committee, deemed the Futures Team, would be the next step in the decision-making process.

“They’re the ones who would be doing the heavy lifting,” she said on Thursday, informing the members that this group would consist of approximately 50 people including the board, the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee, community members and student, teacher and parent representatives.

Woodbury said the Futures Team members would only be committed to four days of service, though the question of when the group would disband arose.

“This is not going to be the only building we build,” Treasurer Jim Malkowski pointed out.

Woodbury then suggested adding a disbanding date before the board decided that the group would be dissolved upon completion of assignment or by a vote at any time. The question of who would be on the Futures Team also caused some concern, especially given the immediacy of the need for a new facility.

“I say we do this as a board and just set aside special board meetings,” Vice Chair Ward Wise suggested, adding that anyone from the public would be allowed to come and voice their opinions.

Board member Mike McFarland agreed that having special meetings would be most efficient, avoiding the need to transfer information from the ad-hoc committee to the board.

“What scares me is 50 people,” Chair Bret Kingsbury said, expressing his concern over the possibility of smaller groups forming their own committees within the Futures Team. “There’s a reason why juries are only 12 people.”

And with the likelihood that some committee members will not have much knowledge about the school-building process, Malkowski said he would prefer a group that he knew would get the job done.

“I want a committee that has teeth,” he said. “I don’t want just some half-assed mess.”

Though the prospect of community members not pointing out particular issues or ideas could arise, Woodbury said their input is still very important.

“We need focused questions, specific questions from our community on what we need to do,” she explained. “Then we can have them prioritize what’s most important to them. Then you have a voice from our constituents … you have something to reference that’s fairly specific. I’m not trying to make this more complicated, but I want you to have input from the community.”

Malkowski also asked about the inclusion of the School Facilities Commission (SFC) in the next phase.

“I don’t want to sell four or five groups on one idea and then have the facilities commission say, ‘too bad, so sad,’” he said, acknowledging the importance of making sure representatives from the SFC are involved.

Kingsbury also said that the involvement of the SFC would be the right way to go with the project.

“We’ve committed to walking hand-in hand with them, so if we leave them out, they might think we’re still trying to do our own thing,” he said.

The board members also decided that having a facilitator to help them make any decisions would be a good idea.

“I hesitate to say that you would get the best product with me facilitating,” Woodbury said. “I would want a professional there.”

Prior to the first special meeting of the board to address this issue, the district will provide all of the information that was made available by Locker to the public.

In other SCSD #1 Board of Trustees news:

• The board approved the out-of-state travel requests for the high school’s Nordic ski team to participate in the Soldier Hollow ski race in Midway, Utah, on Jan. 19 and 20 and for the alpine team to compete against Cody in Red Lodge, Mont., on Jan. 19 and 20.

• After approving the initiation of a middle school wrestling program at last month’s meeting, the board unanimously approved the assignment of Kendall Horrocks as the team’s head coach and Michael Edison as the assistant coach. The board also approved the assignment of Clark de Fluruiter as a volunteer coach for the freshmen boys’ basketball team, pending his PTSB certification.

• Holly Thayne gained approval from the board to serve as a temporary physical education teacher for the remainder of the 2007-08 academic year. The permanent position will be posted this spring and the district will be accepting applications for the 2008-09 school year.

• The board approved a certified contract for Annette Davis to fill a part-time position as a high school math teacher for the remainder of the 2007-08 academic year.

• The board accepted the resignation of certified teacher Carrie Poole with her last day being Jan. 4. The board also eliminated the special education speech and language pathologist position in favor of replacing it with a temporary speech language paraprofessional for the remainder of the academic year.

Woodbury explained that at this time of the school year, she didn’t think the district would be able to secure a certified pathologist. “We haven’t stopped advertising for speech and language,” she informed the board. “They’re just that tough to get.”

• Two Okland Construction change orders for the Pinedale Aquatic Center were approved by the board. Change order #20 included the addition of emergency lights, pool accessories, a slide tower handrail, the new diving board and exterior lights and exit signs. These changes increase the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of the project by $93,522. Change order #21, which increases the GMP by $143,771, was for the installation of the snowmelt system in the front ramp and doorway of the facility.

• Giving the high school agriculture education department the go-ahead to purchase equipment and supplies for the addition of a welding program at last month’s meeting, the board approved a bid from Big J’s Auto Parts for $39,357.23, less $1,500 for tradeins.

• The board granted a utility easement to Rio Verde Engineering to allow for the installation of a new sewer main adjacent to the district’s property. The sewer would serve the undeveloped south portion of town and all that area north of US 191 between Bootstrap Trail and Ehman Lane.

Though the language of the motion had been changed to exclude the pending approval in writing of an agreement with the Town of Pinedale to maintain any future developed skate park or other park construction on the district’s property on South Tyler, the board will still be seeking that arrangement from the town.

• Mark Eatinger of Rio Verde Engineering sked that the board consider putting forth money for a project that will affect the district’s property near Ehman Lane.

After doing a traffic study, Eatinger said it was determined that Ehman Lane is in need of turn lanes. The total cost of the project will be about $200,000, but Eatinger said three other players, Sublette County, North Sky and Bloomfield, are already on board. With a fourth, each would only have to contribute $50,000.

Though the board will not vote on the issue until next month’s meeting, this project is one that has been sought out for some time.

“We wanted a turn lane when we put the bus barn in, but it wasn’t possible,” Malkowski noted. “Thank God for increased traffic.”

• The board unanimously accepted a wrestling mat donated by Julie James of Zephyr Enterprises and Cattle Kate’s Salon for the new middle school wrestling program.

• The board agreed to change the date of next month’s regular meeting. Moved from Thursday, Feb. 14 to Tuesday, Feb. 12, the meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the administration building.

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