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Fieldcrest Building Committee Decides Not to Keep Old Gym

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - Posted 9:03:14 PM
The Fieldcrest Board of Education decided at the Wednesday night building committee meeting not to keep the current high school gymnasium in Minonk as part of the building project.  Superintendent Dr. Dan Oakley said if the board decided to keep the gym it would need expensive upgrades which include new locker rooms and a new heating unit since the building is now heated by a boiler in the high school building. Dr. Oakley also said the new gymnasium to be built will be larger in order to accommodate more P.E. classes. 

Board member Charles Lohr suggested the school should contact the City of Minonk to see if they would be interested in the gym.  Dr. Oakley said the City might be able to use the bus shed and shop building on the high school premises as well.  It was agreed to contact city officials to see if there is any interest in the buildings.  

The building committee also decided to eliminate the small gym in the north wing of the middle school in Wenona because it would be very expensive to upgrade to modern standards.

The committee also agreed with Dr. Oakley's recommendation that the new school buildings be one story because it would be less expensive and easier to monitor for security purposes.

Dr. Oakley said it would cost $75,000 to move the baseball diamond at the middle school in order to make room for the new middle school.

The school's construction manager Rick Krischel said the size of the new class rooms would be 850 square feet and the size of the middle school would be 27,000 square feet.  In other construction tidbits, Mr. Krischel said the heating units in the class rooms would be attached to the ceiling in the center rather than having them along the walls.  He said this provides more equitable distribution of the heat and are quieter.  In response to a question on heating with geo thermal, Farnsworth engineer John Bishop agreed with Mr. Krischel that geo thermal is too expensive to install, especially with the relatively low gas prices.  He suggested it would take 18 years to recover the cost of installing geo thermal heating units.

After the building committee was over, the building design committee met to discuss the design considerations.  Mr. Bishop gave a slide presentation on space requirements for the proposed new high school.  The proposal included 10 class rooms as well as numerous other rooms such as a science lab, nurses station, media room, etc.  The total square footage came out to 54,000 which is greater than the goal of 47,000 square feet.  Mr. Bishop said he will attempt to reduce the square footage and added also that 10 class rooms may not be enough.

Mr. Bishop discussed building materials and mentioned the possibility of constructing a metal building to save costs.  He said his company designed and built a metal building for the Fisher school district which he suggested the committee may want to visit.  

Board member Scott Hillenburg said he did not want a metal building.  He said if we are going to spend a lot of money, it will be necessary to have a building that looks good and everyone will be proud of.  Dr. Oakley agreed saying that he wants the school building to look attractive so that it will attract families to move to the community.  He said other buildings such as the storage buildings and ag shop could be of metal.  

Mr. Bishop said he will bring photos of the Fisher school building to the next building committee meeting.


Keri Sammans Carls: Where is the ball diamond going to be relocated?
Tina Dunning: It makes absolutely no sense to pay $75,000 for a baseball diamond. It is not practical at all for opposing teams who take one bus for baseball & softball players to have to drive to 2 different towns to play. Baseball & softball are usually playing the same opponent on the same night. It is also is a pain for families who may have a player from each team and are trying to watch 2 games at once. The field in Minonk, where the baseball games were played for YEARS, should be used to avoid this cost.
Peggy Rogers Winters: Who is on the building committee?
Tina Dunning: Also the fact that more students are on the road driving to practices and such.
Justin Arndt: Why are we concerning ourselves with what a superintendent thinks, who was run out of his last school district and is only here to get his time in for retirement and will not be here in the next two years let alone be here when this new building will be built. Let the community decide what's best for its kids. Put all plans on hold until a new superintendent is in place that genuinely cares about the school district and its communities.
Elaine Stephens: Does this have to be passed by the taxpapers.
Michael Cave: What an absolute farce. 25 mil and suggests a $75,000 pole barn...
Michael Cave: And how much was the renovation bill gonna be?
Michael Cave: We'll be up to 50 mil by the time its all said and done.
Lynn Barth Manning: And how much was just spent on repairing the wall of the current gymnasium? Go ahead Fieldcrest, throw the taxpayers money away! Smh
David Dunham:Insurance paid for this new wall on north side.
Richard Robertson: Is that the same wall that fell when the original construction was going up ?
Lynn Barth Manning: Richard Robertson I don’t know. It was the wall to the north of the gym that faces the parking lot.
Rick Stevens: Why is "the board" outsourcing so many things these days? I moved my family back here because of the memories of a small town "or towns" dedication to take care of each other. A giant cost in taxes to avoid the wants and aid of the residents is exactly why I moved. And now I guess it's time to move again, if the board can't accept the fact that we are a community and willing to help, instead of paying a huge amount of money to outsource simple labor.
Dawn Marie Gerjets: Ya let's make our taxes go up so high every one moves!
Jill Ludwig: Agggh! I am so tired of the waste of our hard earned tax dollars. I struggle to meet my daily needs and know that they are going to keep asking for more and more for taxes, bills, etc. We will still be paying for all these "great ideas". New is not always better or built to last. What are we going to do when we don't have children to fill the school or schools and no one wants to move to our towns because we have nothing but high taxes, a new ball field, school?, and no money to pay good teachers,etc.i agree with some of you. Why did we fix things spend money on new windows etc. To just tear it all down and at what cost ??
Kayla Jones: This is the school in fisher i found that I'm thinking they built that is a metal building. To me that's a nice looking building. Did I want a new school? NO. Did I want them to repair existing? YES. are we going to be building new buildings now? Yes. That's what the board wants and they aren't listening to the public. There will be a referendum come November. Do I think people are focused more on sports in these towns than education? HELL YES. And its ridiculous. Education should come first and let's worry about these damn baseball fields and everything later. Should high school sports be played in the town where high school is yes. Most certainly. But let's focus on our childrens' education first and foremost.