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New committee on school facilities convenes, hears details on property

Nov 4, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

About 25 individuals were part of the first Collaborative Facilities Committee meeting Tuesday in the administration building of Fremont County School District 25 in Riverton.

Riverton schools superintendent Terry Snyder directed the gathering that included school board and community members, parents, teachers, administration staff, program coordinators and students.

The Wyoming Schools Facilities Commission recently approved roughly $400,000 for District 25 to purchase property at 1200 W. Monroe Ave. in Riverton.

The district is planning to build a new elementary school there to meet a 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio requirement from the state.

Snyder gave the committee background on the facilities the district now has, renovations on buildings, state regulations and requirements, and long-term plans for other an auditorium and wrestling room.

"There's a need there that needs to be met, and I think there's a way to do that," Snyder said. "When we put this committee together, we wanted a broad profile of people."

With approval of funds, the district also was required to form the committee. Members that attended included Mark Stone, Diana Mahoney, Rick Gilpatrick, John Gabrielsen, Jeremy Hill, Hannah Hauck, Larry Hartwell and Scott Ratliff.

Snyder also went into detail on the 16.68 acres of property for the new school, discussing easements, sidewalk and street paving, ground soil issues, and other components that would help direct the committee members as they give their input and inform the rest of the community.

Another purpose of the committee, Snyder said, is to determine the interest the community has in project ideas and design plans.

"If we really show a commitment to these, then our community will support this," he said.

Students from the Riverton High School Leadership class gave their input and asked questions on enrollment and future plans for a growing population.

Other attendees discussed capacity issues for an auditorium. Snyder said there are obstacles that will be encountered, as there have been in the past, with the request to the School Facilities Commission to build an auditorium, but he said the committee can help facilitate that effort.

Snyder asked those who attended to notify him when they would be willing to meet again but not date for the second meeting was set.

Business manager Michael Collins said the district's next step is to visit some school structures and look at other schools the state has helped build. Snyder suggested taking committee members to tour other schools in Wyoming.

A final design plan would have to be approved by the SFC.