K-3 students pick 'Willow Creek' for new school name

May 28, 2014 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Riverton elementary school students in grades K-3 have chosen Willow Creek as the name for the new K-3 elementary school to be built at 1200 W. Monroe Ave.

School District 25 requested nominations from community members and received more than 50 suggestions, said superintendent Terry Snyder.

The announcement was made Tuesday during the school board meeting.

A group of staff members narrowed the list for students to choose from. The three finalists were Willow Creek, which received 319 votes, Riverview second with 219 votes, and Riverside third with 168 votes.

Board members were pleased with the choice. Board member Jody Ray called it an "original name."

Snyder said the district will conduct interviews next week for the two finalists for the district representative of the new school.

As design planning continues to take place, Snyder also said the district is looking closer at the enhancement costs for the district if three additional design components for the school are approved. Enhancement money, not obtained from the state, would come from the district's depreciation account.

Adding an additional classroom to have a total of 22 classrooms in the school would require enhancement money. To have that extra classroom, an additional 1,100 square feet would be put into the design. Snyder said the cost for that is estimated at $158,000.

A "hybrid design kitchen" is another option that would require enhancement money.

"I'll go before the (Wyoming) Schools Facilities Commission in June to lobby for funding to provide us with the square footage for a hybrid design kitchen," Snyder said. If that's not approved by the SFC, it would cost the district about $76,000.

The kitchen would allow staff to prepare food as opposed to only serving food that has been prepared and delivered to the school.

Another feature the district would like is to have a full-sized gymnasium that would create a full-size floor space with three rows of bleachers on one side. It would need an extra 2,570 square feet and cost about $484,000 in enhancement money.

A total of about $719,000 would be needed for all three features, Snyder said, while an original amount of $1.2 million was estimated.

Snyder said the depreciation account will be evaluated closely because there are projects in the future that will need funding to be secured. For example, he said, the artificial turf field at the Wolverine Field is "halfway through its lifetime span" and eventually will need work to extend its usefulness.

"That's an example of a project we believe we have to protect," Snyder said.

Other possible ideas for the field would be to add a coaching and press box for visitors, as well as a storage area.

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