Westwood Community School Building Proposal

English 105H-12
Chad White
Westwood Community School
Building Proposal
The Westwood Community School District is in need of new and expanded
athletic facilities. In this proposal of addition to the current building, it will be shown
that there is an apparent need for expanded facilities along with the numerous benefits
that will accompany this project. An explanation of feasibility for the proposed project is
also included.
Scope / Definitions / Sources
In this proposal, I have chosen to focus directly on the expansion of athletic
facilities. I am not including in this proposal any classroom structures. The information
contained in this proposal comes from my own personal experiences at the Westwood
Community School as a student athlete and the preliminary project budget distributed by
the school board.
Background Information
The Westwood Community School District Athletic Department has been
suffering from a lack of space and facilities since the four old school buildings were
demolished and the new building was built 13 years ago. The school district is made up
of five small communities. At one point before 1987, each community had its own
school building where students attended elementary, junior high, or senior high school.
In 1987, a new school was built in Sloan, Iowa where all students attended school in the
same building (K-12). However, in order to pass the bond issue to build a new school,
compromises had to be made. In this process, the athletic facilities were constrained to
sizes that were less than optimal. Today it is obvious to many student athletes and
athletic coaches that more space must be created and more facilities made available to
properly accommodate students and faculty of the Westwood Community School
Need for Better Facilities
Lack of Facilities for All Activities
As time has passed, the decision to restrain the athletic facilities has been
reflected in many ways that were unforeseen in 1987. First of all, before the
consolidation of the five schools there were more facilities available. There were five
gymnasiums rather than just two gymnasiums and one wrestling room in the present
building. With so many extra curricular activities such as boys basketball, girls
basketball, boys junior high basketball, girls junior high basketball, drill team, wrestling,
weightlifting, and other groups all attempting to use the same facilities at the same time, a
dilemma has come about.
Scheduling Conflicts
It is impossible to schedule time in any of these facilities around practices and
other games without having practices at six o’clock in the morning or seven o’clock or
later at night. Being forced to schedule practices at these times has harmful effects on
each individual program. A fewer number of students are willing to participate in an
activity if they know their practice schedule will be as horrid as six o’clock in the
morning until school begins or seven o’clock until nine-thirty at night. Also such
extreme schedules can be harmful to a developing teenagers’ health. It is a commonly
known fact that the teenage years of a person’s life are the years when their bodies need
the most rest to develop properly.
Unsafe Practice Facilities
In addition, one of the gyms, the “multi-purpose room”, is a threat to the health of
any athlete. The gym is smaller than a regulation sized gym and has a tile floor. The fact
that it is undersized makes it impossible to ever hold a game there and hard to simulate
game situations in practice. Also, there is less than three feet from the edge of the court
to the brick wall. This makes the area very injury prone as competitive athletes are often
running at high speeds where it can be hard to stop quickly. Another huge cause of injury
is the tile floor. The tile floor makes it very difficult to stop or switch directions quickly,
but easy to turn or break an ankle or run into a nearby brick wall. The lack of traction on
the floor also makes it nearly impossible to simulate game situations.
Wrestling Room Flaws
Yet another way that the decision to restrain the athletic facilities in the new
building has shown up in the wrestling room. The present wrestling room is located on a
second level above the locker rooms. This means that every time there is a wrestling
match, the mats must be carried down to the gym. Wrestling mats are very big, awkward,
and heavy. These mats are thirty-eight feet by thirty-eight feet and weigh approximately
two hundred and fifty pounds each. It takes a fairly large group of people to help move
the mats. This can also be dangerous. If one person falls, the mat could fall and cause
that person injury in the process of going down the stairs. Surely you can see that this is
a big inconvenience to go through before and after every home wrestling match.
Weight Room Hazards
One more athletic facility that was restrained in the construction of the new
building was the weight room. The facility was never designed to be a weight room in
the first place. It was originally designed to be a bathroom and a utility closet. This
brings about two problems. First, there are vents and various large appliances that hang
down from the ceiling and obstruct headroom in part of the present weight room. It is
very easy to be doing an exercise and stand up quickly to accidentally hit your head on
the hard, metal edge of a vent or appliance. This is undoubtedly a potential hazard.
Secondly, there is inadequate space for all of the various equipment. Machinery is
crowded together in every corner. This makes it easy to accidentally bump into person
when turning around or just trying to get across the room. This can be very hazardous
when people are trying to carry weights to different machines. I guarantee that no one
appreciates having a forty-five pound weight dropped directly on their toes.
Benefits of Construction
Increased Participation in Extra Curricular Activities
An addition to the present facilities would clearly benefit the students and faculty
of the school as well as the entire Westwood community. First, the student athletes
would benefit by not having to come to practice at such extreme times of the day as six
o’clock in the morning or seven until nine o’clock at night. They can benefit by finding
more time to study and get the rest they need. This will also encourage more students to
participate in extra curricular activities. Therefore these programs will have a better
chance at competitive success due to a higher number of students participating. Also,
increased facility space will open up time and space for more, new activities and give the
students a larger variety of extra curricular activity options to choose from.
Safety for Athletes
Another big benefit that students will receive is safety. Basketball players will
have an additional facility to practice in that will not be nearly as injury prone as the
present facility. The floor will be made of wood and the court will be regulation size
with plenty of room around the edges. Wrestlers will no longer have to go through the
inconvieniace of carrying big, heavy, awkward mats down stairs for every home meet.
Weight lifters will have the space they need and a safe environment to lift in.
Additional Benefits
Benefits for Community
The community will also benefit from the construction of new athletic facilities.
There will be more time for leagues outside of school to practice such as Y teams. There
will also be more time for open gyms so that anyone in the community can use these
facilities free of charge. More games and tournaments can also be played at Westwood
with the additional facilities. This will generate more revenue for the school through
admission and concessions.
No Increase in Property Taxes
An additional benefit if action is taken soon involves the funding for this
construction. When the school was originally built, a property tax of $1.34 on every
$1000 worth of property value was initiated. This bond will be lifted soon. However, if
we implicate a new bond to cover the expenses of the project, taxpayers will not see an
increase in property taxes. The tax will simply take effect as soon as the original bond is
paid off.
Action / Feasibility
Funding for Project
So how does this actually take place? Where does the funding come from? I
support a measure that draws from two sources. The first source is the revenue generated
by the one percent sales tax in affect for all of Woodbury County to be used on the
building structures of schools in Woodbury County. The second source would be a bond
issue that would have to be put to a vote in the school district.
Preliminary Figures
Total Construction Cost
Site Grading & Improvements
Gymnasium Addition
Wrestling Room Addition
Existing Building Remodeling
$ 200,000
$ 405,681
$ 135,000
Equipment & Furnishings
Wood Flooring
Athletic Equipment
Athletic Lockers & Benches
Design & Construction Contingency
$ 121,800
$ 140,714
Architect / Engineering Fees
$ 213,642
Miscellaneous Expenses
Project Expenditure Grand Total