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Facilities committee identifies needs

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The USD 489 facilities needs committee Friday morning discussed lists of needs and wants from Hays Middle School and Hays High School.

After touring the district's facilities, the committee asked each building for a list of needs and wants. The committee discussed the elementary schools' lists last week.

A performing arts auditorium topped the Hays High list of needs. Committee members agreed an auditorium located at Hays High that could be used by the whole district should be included on their list for consideration.

The committee's Hays High list of possible recommendations also included a competition gym, locker room improvements and repairing the parking lot. The auditorium and gym could be built for use as a storm shelter.

The school's roof also might be included on the list.

Like the elementary schools, mechanical issues such as heating, vents, air conditioning and windows at HMS and Hays High likely will be addressed as a separate issue. Security, including entrances, at all buildings also will be added to the committee's recommendation.

HMS needs identified included a cafeteria and kitchen, an additional gym, weight room, practice game fields and a track.

"We put approximately $30,000 a year in on (repairing) cracks," Richard Cain, deputy superintendent, said of the track. "The issue is the ground under it is unstable."

Community members, including the Hays Striders, also use the track, Superintendent Will Roth said.

The committee of 13 community members is in the initial stage of gathering information and forming a recommendation for immediate and long-term strategies addressing the school district's facility needs.

"Right now we're saying this is what we need," committee member Tom Drees said. "After we start putting some numbers to it, we may have to come back and say maybe this was more of a want than a need."

A final recommendation will be presented to the board of education when the committee finishes its work. It will be the board's decision whether to move forward on the recommendation.