Outdoor entry canopies, more bleachers and additional basketball hoops could be included in the reconstruction at the Waterloo schools if the board votes to move forward with the ideas.
The Waterloo School Board has the opportunity to make a few additions to the school renovation project when Kraemer Construction provided updated costs. According to Kevin Eipperle of FEH Design, who addressed the board at the July 22 meeting, the project’s cost decreased by $219,121 since the guaranteed maximum price of $16,633,000 was presented in May.
The savings allows the board to decide if it would like to move ahead with any of the eight additional renovations. These include entrance canopies at the gym/commons entrance, fitness center entrance or middle school entrance; a moveable panel partition with masonry enclosure and sound screen in the gym; motorized rolling bleachers (580 seats) on the east and fixed, powered bleachers (200 seats) on the west of the gym; a pair of basketball standards/backboards/hoops at the east end of the gym; increasing the roofing warranty from 20 to 30 years; and replacing the vinyl composite tile in the commons area with terrazzo.
“None of this is really part of the referendum per se,” board vice-president Nancy Thompson said. “I’m not saying I’m opposed to all of these but a great deal of them I don’t see as impacting the education that’s going to happen in this building, which I think is our key responsibility. … A lot of these are cosmetic things.”
President Bobbi Forman said the canopies would be more than an aesthetic addition to the building. They would be able to shield students from the weather if the children need to wait outside the building. Even though the canopies would not be attached to the building, there would only be a minimal gap where the canopy and building do not connect where people would not be shielded from the weather.
“It looks really pretty but it has a specific purpose,” the board president said. “It’s also something we’re putting out there for the community (to use).”
She added having more bleachers in the gym could serve as a way to bring in revenue as the high school would be able to host regional and sectional sporting events typically requiring a 1,600-seating capacity. The renovated gym space is already going to have an approximately 1,320 capacity.
District building and grounds supervisor Ken Schimmel recommended the district move forward with increasing the roofing warranty from 20 to 30 years as it includes a thicker roof membrane.
Board member Karen Stangler agreed with Schimmel’s recommendation and fellow board member Jim Setz noted changing the roof warranty is not something that can be done once the roof is installed. Eipperle said some of the additions, like the canopies and basketball standards could be added in the future.
“Some of these alterations are going to be difficult to do once we leave the site,” he said.
Schimmel also suggested the board approve using terrazzo instead of vinyl composite tile for the commons area, saying the terrazzo will last longer especially in a high-traffic area.
The board decided to approve the addition of increasing the roof warranty and using terrazzo by a 3-2 vote with Forman and Setz opposed and members Gene Kegler and Sue Quamme absent. The six other possible additions will be considered at a future meeting.
Opening on board
Forman announced her resignation at the meeting as she has moved out of the school district. According to Waterloo superintendent Brian Henning, people interested in representing area 3 should send in applications to the district office or clerk Deb Stein by Aug. 30.
When the new board member is selected by the school board, it will have the opportunity to reorganize.
The board also had a brief discussion on the district’s potential future of having a school-run community recreation and youth sports program. According to the board meeting packet, there have been recent discussions between the Waterloo Youth Sports Organization (WYSO) and city of Waterloo leaders about the state of community recreation and youth sports organizations.
Henning said in other communities, youth sports are administered through the municipality or school district; Waterloo is a bit unique by having a non-profit organization operate the youth sports.
“I think it’s a good time to talk about, can we move that from something that’s strictly a volunteer organization and then have some control over when we schedule events in our buildings … and the idea of having other types of community rec program,” he said.
The board agreed the topic would be worth exploring at a future meeting.
Other board action:
• approved the resignations of athletic director and pool and fitness director Aaron Erickson and music teacher Jennifer Diallo.
• approved hiring Dave Frisell as PE/health teacher and shared athletic director and Janessa Henning as pool and fitness center director.