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USD 489 to review facilities plans

9/1/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The Hays USD 489 facilities needs committee's wish list has gone visual.

HTK Architects representatives Chuck Smith, vice president, and Zack Snethen, project manager, met with the committee Friday morning to discuss preliminary drawings illustrating suggested improvements.

The committee has been working for nearly a year to identify needs and strategies to address them, as well as to make a recommendation to the board of education.

The wish list was based on the assumption Rockwell Administration Building would be closed, and Washington Elementary School repurposed for central office staff, Westside School, The Learning Center and Early Childhood Connections.

The list includes additions at most buildings.

"At the high school, we've got a new auditorium, gym and commons," Snethen said.

Other Hays High additions on the list are technology classrooms and a district warehouse.

Greg Schwartz, board president, said he didn't think anyone is opposed to adding space at Hays High.

"We have to make sure we're not just building a building for the sake of having a building -- that we have plans for what's going into it," Schwartz said.

"What it comes down to is do we anticipate needing space," board member Brian Weimer said.

A larger cafeteria, commons area, new gym and wrestling area, track repair and special education suite top the Hays Middle School list.

With recent classroom additions, "I think it covers most of the things on our wish list," said Shanna Dinkel, HMS assistant principal.

The committee's tentative plan calls for four elementary schools in the district.

Lincoln, O'Loughlin and Wilson Elementary schools would have three sections of each grade, and Roosevelt Elementary School would have five sections for each grade. New classrooms would be added at some schools, so the district would have classroom space for a total of 14 elementary sections to accommodate growth.

There are 12 sections of most grades this year, Superintendent Will Roth said.

Proposed additions also would mean separate cafeteria and gym space at each elementary school.

Bryce Young, committee co-chairman asked the architects to meet with school representatives before the committee meets again.

"Let them see this (and) get a little input to make sure it is accurate," Young said.