What’s good for the Parker is good for the Craig
The winners are both schoolsí wrestling programs.
Both schools are undergoing expansion, but protests from wrestling boosters at Parker led the board to ask for changes in plans.
Original plans would have eliminated Parkerís wrestling practice room, located in the basement below the existing gymnasium. Practice instead would have occurred on one end of the new gym.
But protests led the board to instruct the administration to alter its plans to include a wrestling practice room.
The administration, sensitive to public sentiment about equity between the cross-town rivals, decided Craig should have a wrestling room, too.
Craig has never had a separate wrestling practice room, officials said. So plans are proceeding to build wrestling-practice rooms at both schools.
The school board reviewed the plans Tuesday.
Just how equal do the two schools have to be, board member Bill Sodemann asked, noting that facilities have never been perfectly equal.
Craig, for instance, has a bigger auditorium.
Good point, said Doug Bunton, director of business services, but in this case, creating the practice rooms frees up space in the new gymnasiums, which will help students in other sports teams get their practices done and get home earlier.
Getting athletes home earlier was a major goal of the referendum planning, Bunton said. And, if only Parker got a wrestling room, then Craig athletic practices would have gone later at night than those at Parker.
The Parker coaching and phy ed staffs reviewed the plans and believe they can live with it, Bunton said.
The Craig staff hasnít had a similar review, but theyíre well aware of it and excited about it, Craig officials said.
The Craig wrestling room also will be in the basement, where the weight room is. The renovations will provide new weight rooms at both schools.
An added benefit of the wrestling rooms is that other groups, including phy ed, will be able to use them when wrestlers donít, officials said.
Funding for the wrestling rooms will come from either the contingency fund of the referendum project or interest earnings from temporary investment of bond proceeds, Bunton said.
Both those funding sources come from the referendum bond issues. By law, referendum money must be used for the referendum project or be used to reduce property taxes.
Board members seemed satisfied with plans. No vote is expected. The administration is moving forward to get bids on the projects.
Wrestling room details
Size: 3,746 square feet at Parker; 3,880 square feet at Craig. (Current Parker wrestling room is about 4,000 square feet.)
Cost estimate: An additional $39,158 at Parker and $119,510 at Craig. This does not include architectural or engineering fees. Donít get all cross-town upset at the disparity in those prices; plans already in place call for more spending at Parker than Craig.
Costs will cover: Craig needs additional heating and ventilation in the basement area, which is now used for weightlifting. Also needed is demolition of a wall, construction of another wall, new lighting and paint. Parkerís costs are mostly for expanding planned lockers, team meeting room and coaches offices into an area previously earmarked for storage.