Recreation Center for White
by Tina Peckham
June 18, 2004
I would like to clarify the recommendation made to use the recreation
center for White Cliff students. This alternative was a result
of the community meeting sponsored by the School Board. I supported
this option because it did not recommend closing the recreation
center to the public.
In fact we talked about how the racket ball courts, running track,
and showers could stay open to the public. The gym schedule would
be modified to allow school P.E. depending on the half time P.E.
teacher s schedule either 2 or 3 days a week. Only half of the
gym would be used and the whole gym could be scheduled for special
groups on non P.E. days. Students would be required to use non
marking gym shoes or no shoes at all. Other than this school
time there would be no change in the gym schedule for public
use. There would be No Desk on the gym floor.
The use of the Recreation Center by White Cliff students would
require the Parks and Recreation staff to relocate aerobic classes
much like what was done prior to the building of the Rec. Center.
There is no reason to eliminate those programs. I would suggest
that the aerobic classes, child care center and special interest
classes could be placed at the High School where district offices
now occupy rooms. These rooms are beside the pool and shower
facilities. The weight room could be coordinated with the equipment
presently at the pool, some equipment might be relocated to the
basement of the pool where it was prior to building the Recreation
The changes would affect the fitness rooms at the recreation
center in order to allow for classrooms. The children's room
and multipurpose/art rooms on the main level could be used as
classrooms for kindergarten and first grade. The large fitness,
small fitness, weight room and room with a pool table could also
be used as classrooms. This would allow for K- 5 classrooms.
These rooms would be closed to the public during the months of
The Recreation center is located
beside the Tongass School. They have offered to help in any way
they can. We thought that shared use of their library, computer
lab, playground, large space for assembly and possible bus loading
areas could be worked out. Any additional space for the 6th and
7th grades and special education classrooms would be used.
Since the district maintenance department is also located next
to the recreation center site, we discussed the possibility of
placement of a modular building and additional support staff
and parking there.
There would be costs associated with this move:
- The wood floors in the two
fitness rooms would need to be covered. Depending on the flooring
under the rubber mats in the weight room that floor may need
to be covered as well.
- District offices would be
relocated allowing Parks and Recreation the use of the four high
school rooms that are directly down from the pool.
- There may still be need for
a modular building if space cannot be found for the 6th and 7th
grades and special education.
There would be benefits:
- The school district could
pay for a portion of the utilities for the Recreation Center.
- A district custodian could
provide additional services at the Recreation Center.
- District maintenance staff
could provide support services to the Recreation Center.
- Additional storage for Parks
and Recreation could be made available at the White Cliff building.
- The unique location of the
Recreation Center beside another elementary school facility and
beside district maintenance facilities would allow for coordination
to provide needed support during students stay at the Recreation
- The Recreation Center is a
safe facility with adequate restroom facilities for all students
- There are outside exits to
at least three or possibly four of the classrooms minimizing
impact to the rest of the facility.
This is not an ideal situation
but I believe it is workable. With the loss of White Cliff this
community will lose the use of two school facilities this fall.
To think that the remaining schools can absorb the students without
severe overcrowding and compromises on education is unrealistic.
I appreciated that assembly members Tipton, Landis, Bergeron
and City Mayor Weinstein participated in the community meeting
sponsored by the School Board. This is a community problem. Let
s continue working together to find solutions that keep children
in safe facilities and allow for the educational support they
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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