Penns Valley

More locker room, gym space possible at Penns Valley high school

The Penns Valley Area school board is moving ahead with plans to revamp four high school locker rooms while eyeing ways to add more space for athletic activities.

The board voted Monday to authorize architects to proceed with designs for a base bid for renovations and two alternate bids for additions to the high school.

District officials said the inclusion of the alternate bids will allow them to find out how much those additions might cost and eventually help the board determine if they are cost-effective.

“I think the whole strategy is let’s become informed about what the decisions would be,” said Superintendent Brian Griffith.

Plans for the first alternate bid include the construction of a new cardio room, trainer’s room and sports officials’ room.

The second alternate bid includes all of those features and also calls for the inclusion of a multipurpose room.

Griffith said that space, while not as large as a full gymnasium, could be utilized for wrestling practice, indoor baseball drills and other activities.

Board President Jay Martin said the extra practice space could help cut down on congestion caused by various school and youth sports programs requesting to use the district’s existing gym space.

“The additional room would provide more freedom, give us more options,” he said.

Martin said including the alternate bids in the plans for renovations will give the board and district officials an idea of the costs for those additional capabilities. “It’s a cost-benefit analysis,” he said.

Not included in the alternate bids is more gym space. That had been proposed in plans for a community center once set to be built on school property, but scrapped by the board last year after concerns raised by residents.

If the board ultimately decides to approve only the renovations, work would be done on the four locker rooms in the high school. A minimal amount of space would also be added for storage.

Martin said the locker-room renovations have been in the district’s long-range plans for years. The areas haven’t been upgraded since the school was built in the 1960s and are due for repairs.

According to Martin, the district has been taking the approach of making small improvements to the school as it has the ability. Last year, officials renovated all the the bathrooms in the building.

“It’s been a very big success for us,” Martin said. “It was good for the students and it was a good business project.”

Now, it’s the locker room’s turn.

Griffith said officials plan to avoid borrowing any money to do the project and instead will look to spend only existing funds.

The board also voted Monday at its regular meeting to move $65,000 from the capital projects general fund to a construction fund, according to documents on the district website.