Archived Story

Kennedy considers Gold Gym for H.S. basketball [UPDATED]

Published 5:01pm Thursday, November 11, 2010 Updated 5:11pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Fergus Falls School Board is considering a proposal to hold basketball games in the new gym at Kennedy Secondary School rather than the old high school gym at Roosevelt Education Center as previously planned, but board members are seeking community input before a decision is made.

For that reason, the public is invited to a School Board forum scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, in the Gold Gym at Kennedy regarding the location of winter sporting events.

The proposal calls for basketball events to be held in the new Gold Gym located at Kennedy Secondary School and gymnastics and dance events to be held in the Roosevelt Otter Gym, the old high school gym.

High School Principal Dean Monke, Assistant Principal Shane Thielke, Assistant Principal Jon Harris and Activities Director Gary Schuler, who created and presented the proposal, had various reasons for making the recommendation.

Their primary reason is that the gymnastics team, which has been using a rented space on Highway 210 (in the old Pamida building) and has not been able to set up their spring floor for practices, would have a place to call home. The gymnastics team would use half of the Roosevelt gym to leave the spring floor and set up other equipment, and the other half of the gym would be used daily for Area Learning Center and special education phy. ed.

After school, the gym would be used for dance and gymnastics practices.

“We finally have a home for our gymnastics team, and they’re excited,” Schuler said. “We want to give all of our groups and teams the opportunity to be the best that they can be, and now we can do that for gymnastics.”

They believe it’s important to play home games where teams practice — there are six baskets in the Roosevelt gym and 20 in the Gold Gym at Kennedy, allowing all high school, grades 9 through 12, teams to practice simultaneously.

Schuler also noted that the PEP Band has easy access to the gym in Kennedy and wouldn’t have to haul instruments to Roosevelt for games during winter, unless they are attending hockey games.

The proposal goes on to state that the concession stand at Kennedy meets code and is fully stocked, and the bleachers and scoreboard at Roosevelt are outdated.

The School Board had previously stated that basketball games would stay in the Roosevelt Gym before the Gold Gym was constructed. It was to be a phy. ed. gym, but when the district had funds remaining and could afford to purchase bleachers for the Gold Gym, plans began to change, School Board Chair Melanie Cole said. The budget allowed for a third gym section, four sets of bleachers, new scoreboards, and a new sound system.

“This happened very late in the building process,” the proposal states. “We could not anticipate the availability and capabilities of the new Kennedy Gold Gym until recently, therefore things changed in the three years of construction.”

“There’s a lot of good reasons to play in the Gold Gym,” Cole added. “On the other hand, we told the public one thing and just want to get feedback before we do something different.”

The boys and girls head basketball coaches expressed a desire to play games in the new gym, and they don’t believe enough practice time would be available in Roosevelt if the gymnastics team uses the space.

“I think there’s a little concern of the unknown,” Principal Dean Monke said. “We’ve had great basketball atmosphere over there (at Roosevelt), and that’s been with teams winning or losing. I don’t think it’s going to make a difference where we play because we have such an unbelievable following for basketball and all our activities here.”

At Monday’s public forum, Melanie Cole, as school board chair, will introduce the topic, Activities Director Gary Schuler will present the reasons for the proposal, and then community members can make comments or ask questions.

The proposal, pending community input, is scheduled to be on the Nov. 22 School Board agenda.

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  • papergirl

    what else would the “gold” gym be used for? Why did you build it?

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