Sanger superintendent seeks input on expansion

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SANGER — Superintendent Kent Crutsinger is seeking direction from the school board in regard to expansion of Sanger High School sports facilities and potential funding options.

Crutsinger asked board members July 8 to complete a questionnaire on how to proceed with the sports facilities discussion, the estimated size for a sports facility or field house they’re willing to support, how much could be spent on the project, how to fund the sports facility/field house — reserves or calling a school bond election — and whether or not they favor constructing a sports facility/field house. The questionnaire, Crutsinger said, was a way of gathering information and getting “some type of consensus.”

Since May, the board has discussed the construction of a field house and expanding sports facilities at the high school to accommodate future growth.

In May, architects with SHW Group presented a preliminary site plan for a multi-sports facility to the board. Phase one in the preliminary site plan included proposed construction of a field house and parking area adjacent to the high school football field. The final phase in the preliminary site plan, as the district sees more growth, includes construction of additional parking areas, bleacher expansions on the home and visitor sides of the football field, two additional athletic fields adjacent to the tennis courts and relocation of the baseball and softball fields to an area adjacent to the tennis courts.

No action has been taken on the issue at this point, Crutsinger said.

“We are still months away from making any decision,” he said.

Board President Ken Scribner said the board will make some decisions regarding the project once it has a better idea of cost and what the district can afford.

Scribner said having discussions about athletic planning is being proactive about the district’s future.

“Sanger is continuing to grow, and we just need to be prepared for the future,” he said.

Projected costs for a facility with more than 12,000 square feet of space, according to the questionnaire distributed to the school board July 8, would be nearly $2.8 million, and the estimated cost of a facility offering more than 20,000 square feet of space would exceed $4.5 million.

At a June 10 meeting, the board discussed possibilities for funding sports facility expansion including using reserves, increasing the tax rate, calling a bond election and other alternatives.

A couple of trustees at the meeting expressed interest in moving forward with the project. It was also suggested that the expansion be done in phases.

Some trustees said they favored taking the issue before voters.

“Let the voters decide,” said trustee Brad Watts at the June 10 meeting. “If we build it, they will come. I’m a firm believer on that.

“I want this for this town, and I’m not the only one.”

At the board’s August meeting, Scribner said the trustees will consider setting dates for future special meetings to discuss with district financial advisers how the project could be funded and what direction the board should take.

The next school board meeting is slated for Aug. 12.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

 


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