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Forest City schools to hold public hearing about $500,000 HS gym remodel

Forest City schools to hold public hearing about $500,000 HS gym remodel

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The public will be allowed to weigh in on a Forest City School Board plan to remodel the high school gym.

The school board set a public hearing date of Jan. 13 for feedback on the facility that still has flooring and bleachers dating back to 1977, according to Superintendent Darwin Lehmann.

“Gym floors only get so many sandings,” said Lehmann. “We are at the limit for that; two years ago we had a piece of floor come out during a basketball game.”

Forest City high school gym

The center emblem court will be kept and displayed at the entrance of the school. The rest of the flooring will be auctioned off in separate sections. 

Another enhancement piece  included in the $500,000 project is padding along the ends of the courts.

Discussion at the meeting also included what was the best option when dealing with removing of the floor.

Options presented to the board were having a vendor demolish the flooring and bleachers and then installing the new ones or the district doing the demolition and then having the vendor install the new floor and bleachers.

An overview was given of what type of gym floor the district wanted and specifications along those lines were discussed.

Key concepts that the district wants included in the design are:

• Red border and lanes

• Light wood flooring

• “INDIANS” in the corners

• Large "FC" at midcourt

• “FOREST CITY” on baselines

• Keep block lettering – no script

After the public hearing, the school board will consider the project, and if approved, will request bids. The district is looking for a start date of either March or May, according to Lehmann.

If started in March, there would be other internal changes to take into consideration, such as graduation and holding physical education classes, according to Lehmann. He also pointed out that the district had to take into account the many other schools, universities and colleges that could also be competing for bids from companies during the same timeframe.

“Waldorf is having their remodel at the same time in March,” said Lehmann. “We had a discussion about doing ours at the same time. It could be a cost savings, because if we have the same company we have power of two projects at one time.”

If the project is begun in March, the district would be looking at a completion date of June 2020. A May start would take place after graduation and be completed by Aug. 3, at the beginning of fall sports and activities.

“We will decide that when we get the bids and know what the costs are and which timeline and company we will go with,” said Lehmann. “The update remodeling of the high school gym is estimated that it will not exceed $500,000.”

Want to buy some flooring?

The district also began working with its attorney to auction off the old gym flooring. The district is legally required to go through a process to hold the auction and have it be board approved.

“This gym floor has been significant to the community of Forest City Alums and the school district,” said Lehmann. 

Plans for the auction would be finalized by Activities Director Chad Moore, Assistant Activities Director Jeff Jerome, and Krista Heidemann, communications.

Lehmann explained that it would be an online format for people to bid on different sections of the gym floor and then when it was actually torn out the winners would be notified to come pick it up.

The main court will be auctioned off in 4 x 6 sections and then the east and west sides will go as one piece. The current center court emblem will be kept to be displayed. The wood from the bleachers will be used for shop projects, Lehmann said.

The auction will be announced during ball games beginning on Dec. 20, and until Jan. 24.

Jesusa Christians is the Community Editor of the Forest City/Britt Summit-Tribune.

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