BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE
With the new schools coming to Big Horn County School District Four, should the schools be renamed? This question has come up on and off for the last couple of years. When it was discussed at the board meeting on May 9, 2017 the board decided to form a committee to explore the question.
Retiring Para-professional Karen Kinkade told the board that many alumni she has spoken to would like to see the school and the mascot go back to Basin Bob Cats. Other point that was discussed during the board meeting was that the three schools in the district do not have same mascot. The high school and elementary school are Rebels while the middle school mascot is the Cougars. Whether the new schools name changes or not the thought it the mascot for middle school should be changed to be the same as the other two.
A committee was formed that night to explore ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc., of the public. Send your ideas to Audra Crouse at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also drop your ideas off at the district administration building located at 416 South Third. Community members on the committee are Kinkade and Carlene Brown. They may also be contacted with ideas. Also board member Deb Craft.
An update on the new buildings was also a portion of the board meeting that night. Business manager Andy DeGraw told the board and audience about the School Facilities Commission meeting May 2-3. He had high praise for Rep. Nathan Winters who attended the meeting as well. Winters, on behalf of district four, addressed the commission about the shortfalls in the construction funding. He said that Winters was very passionate and compelling. “We so appreciate the Basin Area Chamber for contacting our local legislatures and asking them to be a part of the discussion. While Senator Agar and Representative Greear were unable to attend, it was good that we were able to let them know what was going on so they could be advocates for the district at the state level”
The commission recommended moving forward with the project. . The district will now need a notice to proceed from the School Facilities Department. District superintendent Dave Kerby said that there would need to be an additional 4000 square feet cut from the plans. “This cut is based on the current enrollment projections. The original square footage for the buildings is based on enrollment numbers from 2013. The new projections show a slight decline in enrollment.” The square footage cut to meet new square footage requirement were two classrooms in the elementary, small reductions in the size of classrooms in the high/middle school and slight redesign of the hallways.
“The Commission approved us to move forward to bid with a couple of minor changes to the architect’s scope of work,” District business manager Andy DeGraw said. “Once bids come in we will determine if we need to make a request to the Commission for “unanticipated” funding.”
Kerby noted that the commission would not have all the additional $2.1 million needed for the foundation piers. The district will then have to go to the legislature for the rest of the funds.