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Principals request new athletic buildings at both high schools

Principals from both Washington County high schools spoke to members of the Board of Education Facilities Committee about adding multipurpose athletic buildings to their campuses.
“The principals approached me about addressing the committee on needs for their schools,” Director of Schools Ron Dykes said during the June 5 committee meeting.
Daniel Boone High School Principal Roger Jackson said they are proposing outdoor athletic facilities. “We are the only two schools in our conference that do not have these facilities,” he said.
Jackson said the Boone facility, which would be located in the section beside the concession stand, would include a weight room and space for academic classrooms.
David Crockett High School Principal Andy Hare agreed there is a need for such structures. “We’re looking at something to get us up with the times,” he said. “Using a track term, I feel like we’ve been lapped.”
Hare said athletics is the greatest and least expensive marketing tool for a school. “We are the only school with no auxiliary gym, which requires late night practices or use of the middle school gym,” he said.
In addition, Crockett has four varsity teams using the same locker room, which makes it impossible for the school to host a track meet.
“A field house with an auxiliary gym at Crockett is what we propose,” he said. “It would benefit the school for decades.”
School Board Chair Clarence Mabe asked if the facilities could be used on football nights, and Hare said yes.
“Right now, visiting teams dress in the gym in the main building, which proposes another problem of having them in the building with possible access to things they shouldn’t,” he said.
Dykes said both high schools submitted renderings of the proposed facilities, but they have not been brought to the BOE because funds were not available.
“Would this not fall under football stadium refurbishing?” board member Chad Williams asked, referring to the BOE’s prioritized five-year facilities needs list that includes a 10,000-square-foot dressing room with weight room, training room, coaches’ offices, and officials’ dressing room for each complex. According to the list, this particular need is designated as a low priority.
Hare said the location being considered at Crockett is the area between the parking lot and the track, though he doesn’t know if that would be feasible. Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Patrick said that site is a main drainage area, and a civil engineer would have to confirm whether it would be possible.
“Or the current field house could be scrapped and we could build there, or even build an addition to the current field house,” Hare said.
Athletic Director Josh Kite estimated the cost for a 15,000-square-foot building that includes the auxiliary gym, extra rooms and office space would cost approximately $1.5 million.
Mabe asked Athletic Director Danny Good for an estimate of what the building at Boone would cost, and Good said approximately $400,000.
Facilities Committee members thanked the principals for their input, but no formal recommendations for the projects were made.