W-F School Board approves locker room project
By Angie Landsverk
The Weyauwega-Fremont Athletic Booster Club may now proceed with raising funds for the remodeling of the high school’s locker room area.
That is after the school board voted 6-0 on Monday, July 27, to allow the club to develop fundraising objectives to support such a project. Dan Kohl was absent.
The remodeling is to include the locker rooms, fitness area, coaching rooms and training area.
Earlier this month, the board received a preliminary rendering for the project and an estimated cost of $275,000 to $300,000.
The rendering and estimate were from ATS&R.
The Minneapolis-based firm completed a long-range facility study for the district before the board decided to enter into an agreement with it for an analysis of the high school locker room area.
The process included input from the district’s physical educastion teachers, coaches, administrators and school board members.
The booster club donated $500 to the district to cover the cost of the analysis.
The donation followed the booster club’s request for board approval to remodel the athletic facilities.
At this week’s board meeting, District Administrator Scott Bleck said the scope of the project will be narrowed after the booster club comes back to the board and tells it how much it has raised.
The remodeling will be a reconfiguration of the area’s current footprint.
During the board’s July 13 Committee of the Whole meeting, there was discussion about whether the facility will be open to the public.
Ben Claassen, a member of the booster club, asked the board to consider access for the public.
“Even if it’s just weekends or the winter, it’s just something I’m asking you to think about,” he said.
Claassen reminded the board that public access was part of the club’s original plan when it presented plans for a 6,000-square-foot addition in November 2012. Some donations and pledges were based on the facility being open to the public.
The total cost of that project was estimated at $800,000.
The board committed $400,000 to it, if the club raised $400,000 by June 1, 2013.
In May 2013, the club sought an additional six months to meet that fundraising goal after falling about $165,000 short.
The following month, the school board withdrew its motion from November 2012 to contribute $400,000 toward the project if the club raised $400,000 by June 1.
In July 2013, the club again asked the board to match the $400,000 after raising $341,000 (including a $130,000 loan) and receiving an equipment donation valued at $59,000.
The board voted to do so but then voted in September of that year to rescind that motion, telling the club it needed to follow the district’s Matching Funds Program.
That program requires those proposing a matching fund gift to submit a project proposal application no later than June 1 of the fiscal year prior to the proposed expenditure.
That had not taken place.
The next issue became the value of the fitness equipment the club wanted to donate to the district, and in early 2014, the board voted to accept the equipment with no price value attached to the donation.
Earlier this month, Bleck told the board the donated equipment would be used in the remodeled facility.
He said the district will probably not be able to use all of the donated equipment but said it “would be an improvement.”
Board member Kurt Duxbury said he thinks the district should build into it the potential of opening the area to the public.
Tim Cullen, president of the booster club, said the district already manages the use of its facilities.
“In my opinion, I think you will continue on as you’re already doing it now. There will be no change from what you’re already doing,” he said.