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Facilities committee discusses academic and athletic needs at HHS

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The USD 489 facilities needs committee met Friday morning and continued its preliminary discussion about Hays High School issues.

The current industrial education space, access and its proximity to classrooms were considered as possible needs for improvement.

Projections show job growth in the industrial arts fields, said Aaron White, committee member and Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development executive director.

Superintendent Will Roth said enrollment in the program remains steady.

Discussion items included the possibility of partnering with North Central Kansas Technical College for programs or adding a separate building for the program and re-purposing the current area.

A separate building would help with ventilation and the smell, said Francis Hammerschmidt, maintenance supervisor.

"Even with ventilation (the welding smell) still goes all the way down the hallway," he said.

A new building could be large enough to house the district shop and maintenance department as well as storage, said committee member Tom Drees.

Improving the Hays High practice fields for physical education classes, marching band practice, athletic teams and the community were a separate discussion issue.

"If you would just (turf) one field out there, we'd have enough water out there to take care of the rest," Hammerschmidt said of the playing fields.

"We're talking about one area for multi-purpose," Drees said. "We can solve the water problem, but we can't solve the calendar problem. When we need to be on those fields in February and March, having water isn't going to change the fact the grasses we use aren't available."

Tom Albers, Hays High assistant principal, and Clint Albers, Hays High athletic director, will meet with the group in two weeks to discuss the Hays High industrial education program and playing fields.

There will be no meeting next week.