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Fieldcrest Building Committee Debates Gym Size

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - Posted 9:22:14 PM
The Fieldcrest Building Design Committee wrestled over how to reduce the size of the proposed high school building at their meeting Wednesday night in Minonk. Farnsworth engineer John Bishop said the current configuration for the new buildings includes an area of 55,730 square feet. Fieldcrest Superintendent Dr. Dan Oakley said the square footage has to be cut to 47,000 square feet in order to come in under the $25 million budget.

It wasn't considered feasible to cut the number of class rooms from 10 as that is what is needed to satisfy the current curriculum. One obvious way to cut back the square footage was to reduce the size of the new gymnasium which has a size of 14,250 square feet compared to the current gymnasium which has little over 11,000 square feet. The new gym would have two full size basketball courts to enable multiple practice sessions plus 3 locker areas and a larger stage.

Committee member Christie Ruestman suggested the new gym size be cut back to the size of the current gym. She said she had negative feedback about the proposed new gym saying that it was adding "whipped cream and a cherry to the top." She added that she and her children used the current gym and felt it was adequate for their needs. However, other committee members mentioned that basketball practices sometimes have to be held over into later hours because only one court is available for practice. Multiple practice sessions plus play rehearsals can be going on simultaneously in the new gym.

Others cited that the new gym would have a bigger and better stage for plays and dramas. Still others mentioned that the additional cost for the new gym would not affect the tax rate that much. However, committee member Scott Hillenburg mentioned that those who favor spending the extra money should be ready to explain to the taxpayers why it is worth the extra cost.

A straw vote indicated that the majority favored keeping the bigger gym. However, Dr. Oakley suggested that the committee wait and make that decision after a trip to Fisher high school. If the committee adopts the metal building construction that the Fisher high school has, there may be enough savings to afford the extra space in the new school including the new gym.

Dr. Oakley said the committee will meet at 5:00 pm on June 4th to drive to Fisher to inspect the high school there.

In addition to the 10 class rooms in which each would have 850 square feet, other room sizes mentioned are listed below. This is not a complete list.

Music room - 1400 sq ft
Seminar room - 500 sq ft
Science lab - 850 sq ft
2 science lecture rooms - 750 sq ft each
Special Ed office - 500 sq ft
Stage 1800 sq ft
Cafeteria - 1000 sq ft
3 locker rooms at 1200 sq ft each
Nurses station- 270 sq ft
TV Broadcast/multimedia room - 700 sq ft
Art room - 1000 sq ft

In the second half of the meeting, Cordogan Clark engineer Rich Krischel presented a square foot analysis of the proposed middle school in Wenona. The target square footage was 26,400 and the analysis showed a square footage of 28,178 square feet. Mr. Krischel said the current enrollment at the school is 240 but by the time the buildings are completed enrollment is estimated to be 190.

For a list of the room sizes at the middle school, click here.

The new middle school would be combined with the existing gym and gym offices, band and chorus rooms ad the utility room that houses the boiler which in total encompass 11,410 square feet.The committee had no comments on the analysis.

Mr. Krischel also mentioned that demolition costs for the middle school, high school and former Presbyterian church is estimated to be $1.6 million.

The next building design committee meeting will on June 6 at 7:00 pm.