The addition of a community fitness center off of Weyauwega-Fremont High School is being discussed in the school district.
Members of the W-F Athletic Booster Club are expected to attend the Monday, Nov. 26 meeting of the School Board to present fundraising plans.
Ben Claussen, Tim Cullen and Pat Fee attended the board’s Nov. 12 meeting on behalf of the booster club.
“We have had a number of requests from people who want a fitness center at the school. We have a rendering of adding a fitness center off the existing locker room,” Cullen said, in presenting the idea to the board.
The design is an approximately 6,000-square-foot addition, which would include a weight room, an aerobics room and locker rooms.
It would be built on the east end of the school.
If built, the high school’s current weight room would be replaced.
The district has a staff fitness room with cardio equipment in it. There were questions as to whether that equipment could merged into a community fitness center.
“The thought process of the design,” Claussen said, “is you could lock it down, so it would be separate from the school.”
The fitness center would be for school use during the school day, so it would not be staffed at those times, Fee said.
When open to the public, it would be staffed. It is designed so the weight room would be visible from the counter.
Representatives of the booster club do not see a community fitness center as being frivolous.
“It’s needed. We can’t have a weight training class now. I think it’s a really needed facility,” Claussen said.
Their preliminary estimate for the cost of such an addition is about $100 per square foot – or $600,000.
That estimate does not include the cost of equipment.
Weight room equipment would cost about $82,000, and the cost of cardio equipment would depend on whether it was purchased or leased, Claussen said.
He said it would be up to the district as to how the facility was run.
“Generally, users pay a fee,” Claussen said. “We’ve seen where it costs $10 to $20 per month for a resident and higher.”
District Administrator Scott Bleck said some school districts charge a minimal fee. “Potentially, it could be handled the same way we handle other fees, through the central office,” he said.
Another question which will have to be addressed is the cost sharing of the project.
In the past, the district had a policy that if the booster club raised a particular amount for a project, the district would match that amount, Cullen said.
The booster club feels comfortable that it could raised $300,000, he said.
Board member Dan Kohl said in his opinion, such a project should be split between evenly between the booster club and the district.
Bleck said, “I know there is a pool of business people who would like to contribute in some way.”
He recommended that the booster club develop a fundraising plan and bring that before the board.
“If the board feels comfortable, it could decide whether it is comfortable at that participation rate and then decide to support it,” Bleck said.
Cullen said the club is looking for a partnership. “We have some money raised already,” he said.
The booster club would like to build next spring.
“There are plenty of facilities right in our backyard that we could look toward and make it fit our school district,” Fee said.
Cullen said, “For me, I want to see this community improve. The key part is for the kids in our school.”