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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fitness Center at WB HS will cost taxpayers...

Questions remain over funding, security at West Bend High Schools

"A private donation of $250,000 may put a public fitness center in reach for West Bend High Schools, if they can overcome some safety and financial hurdles.

A 5,000-square-foot fitness center next to the schools’ south gym was in an initial draft of the $119 million school referendum that voters shot down last year, said Jeff Rondorf, East High School athletic director at Thursday’s Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee meeting. Eight months ago, a private donor approached Rondorf and said they wanted to fund a fitness center that would be open to the public after school hours.


“(The donor) is not going to make any announcements until the district is ready to say, ‘We have our heads around this,’” said Superintendent Patricia Herdrich.

Safety and funding are the two challenges the fitness center has to overcome. The committee’s initial plan is to put the fitness center on the east side of the gym, with an entrance opening to the adjacent parking lot. The entrance would have to meet “safe and secure” standards, which means that during school hours, someone would have to see a person who wanted to enter before granting them access, said Brian Dasher, Finance and Support Service administrator.


The committee decided to seek legal counsel from the outset to see if they’re able to keep costs down with private funding. They will meet next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Room D90 in the high schools’ athletics department to study the site firsthand and work out safety solutions.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FROM AUGUST 4TH within the CFAC-2 committee indicated:

Pat Herdrich's statement "Removing the pool [Badger] would be a direct savings to the taxpayers." (See savings $$ below.)


Hearing that the City of West Bend won't take up a portion of the obligation for Badger Pool, though it is a service to the West Bend Community. (It costs the District $100,000/yr. to maintain the pool.)

This is all rather interesting. We hear Pat Herdrich indicate that removing the pool at Badger would save the taxpayers money because of costs to maintain the pool long-term. (I was at this meeting.) The committee indicated that because of the City's refusal to help with the upkeep, this was no longer a viable option for the school district and should be removed.

So, my question is this. Even if someone generously donates the money to build a fitness center onto the WB High Schools, we still have the same issue, don't we? Who will pay for the upkeep/maintenance? Housekeeping? Staffing? Security?

It's a nice thought, but we are looking at the same exact issue as before, only most likely with a heftier cost factor. Why would our district say "yes" to something they would have said "no" to on a different level?

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