District 25 to ask for funds to build RHS auditorium

May 9, 2013 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

With hopes of securing funds allocated by the Wyoming School Facilities Commission for the expansion of facilities, Fremont County School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder announced that Riverton is putting together a proposal to construct an auditorium and wrestling facility on the campus of Riverton High School.

"My intent with this is to keep looking forward in the positive direction of what the district needs to do," Snyder said. "We need to identify our need and develop a basis of support at our yearly district meeting with the state facilities department."

Snyder and Riverton school board chairman Mark Stone said that RHS is the only Class 4-A school without an auditorium on its high school campus.

"There are some equability issues," Snyder said. "When you look at a high school auditorium, I look at the performance component of it as being a very minor piece. The opportunity for day in and day out instruction, the use of an area like that, is quite significant. We use the CWC auditorium, but it is hard to schedule. Last year, we had to perform our musical after school was out and the kids had been dismissed."

Snyder said similar component funds have been approved and are being used to add an additional 600 square feet of space to Rendezvous Elementary School to close the eastside entrance to the building and reconfigure office space.

Snyder added that for the auditorium and wrestling room project, the district must submit preliminary documentation to the state by the middle of May for an end of the month meeting.

"I've talked to the board about it, and they are very supportive. It's strictly a strategy that we may present that, and they may say no," Snyder said. "I want to advocate for our needs every way we can."

RHS head wrestling coach Jay Galey said the safety issues he worries about with his team practicing at the Tonkin Activities Center at the old Riverton High School would almost disappear if a wrestling facility were to be constructed at the high school.

"Mr. Snyder and I have visited about this project," Galey said. "It presents great opportunities for our kids in a lot of different facets. One thing is safety. We wouldn't have to travel to practice every day. It would allow our trainer, if something happens and it invariably does, to be right there instead of having to wait. And our locker rooms at the TAC are, well, incredibly bad."

Stone said he hopes the facilities commission will be open to Riverton's needs as the district develops community support for both projects.

"An auditorium and wrestling room are two facilities that we desperately need," Stone said. "We owe it to our kids to do everything we can to get them an auditorium. We need them both to give our students the best opportunity to improve themselves. It is a long shot, but it is one of those things that if you don't ask, we'll have no chance of getting it."

Planning for both facilities is in the preliminary stages.

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