CASPER, Wyo. — A proposal to construct a new swimming pool at Natrona County High School has gotten the wave of support needed to make it a reality.
The NCSD Board of Trustees voted on Monday, Sept. 23 to approve the project.
Trustees Kiana Smith and Angela Coleman voted no.
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The budget for the pool is $10,237,630. Design details and a project timeline are discussed in this article.
Trustee Clark Jensen spoke in favor of the project ahead of the vote. He said he supported a previous attempt to ask the community for funding to build a pool at NC.
He said some of the same issues have come up this time around. However, the school district has identified funding necessary for the pool without the need to bring it to a public vote.
Jensen urged the other trustees to support the full pool design, including the diving well.
“I would like to see some parity in the swimming competitions between the two schools,” he added, saying that he thought KW had the reputation as the swimming high school in town.
Trustee Kevin Christopherson said that past school boards had saved money for the pool project and that the current board should honor that by supporting the project.
“It would be a crying shame….if it didn’t go through,” he added.
Trustee Dave Applegate said that a large high school like NC should have a pool.
“I consider the school a classroom,” school board Vice Chair Dana Howie said. “People need to learn how to swim.”
Smith thanked the public for sharing their input on the proposal.
“$10 million is not a small amount of money,” she went on to say. “It bothers me a little bit that we’re putting all of our rec board money into it.”
She said she would support the project if it could be scaled back to $7 or $8 million.
Like at the last meeting, community members, high school coaches and athletes spoke in favor of the proposal and urged the trustees to support it.
“120 kids in one pool is quite the sight,” Darren Herbst, a middle school swim coach, said, pointing to crowding at the Kelly Walsh pool.
NCHS swimmers talked about the added transportation time that comes from having to drive back and forth across town and about not having a space of their own.
NCSD says the pool will be the last step to realize their vision for renovations of the district’s high schools.
“The Wyoming Legislature appropriated $270 million to renovate Natrona County High School, build a new Kelly Walsh High School, and construct Roosevelt High School/Pathways Innovation Center (PIC),” a school board document states. “The Board Construction Steering Committee and the Board of Trustees had a vision to enhance these facilities to meet the needs of the students and the community for years to come.”
All elements of the vision for Kelly Walsh are complete. Those include:
• Constructing Staffileno Activity Complex (soccer and football fields);NCSD
• Common Area;
• CTE classroom space;
• Adding an indoor track practice facility;
• Add additional square footage to the gymnasiums;
• Renovate the outdoor track and field facilities;
• Renovate the football/track stadium; and
• Renovate the natatorium.
Most of the vision for NC, with the exception of the pool, are complete:
• The building of the Mustang Athletic Community Center (MACC) to be utilized as a swingNCSD
space for students during construction and the primary physical education and indoor athletics
facility once the phased renovation project was complete;
• CTE classroom space;
• Recessed gymnasium floor in the MACC;
• Synthetic turf football field; and
• The building of a pool.