Our View: School district smart to think ahead about gym

Published 2:40 pm Monday, December 19, 2016

Leaders with the Clark County Public Schools are thinking about current students and those who will be roaming the halls for decades to come, so it is now up to the Kentucky Department of Education to adopt that same progressive vision.

The school district will have to seek a waiver from the state board of education to build its proposed gymnasium at George Rogers Clark High School after the design committee was unable to approve submitted plans based on grounds the 60,000-square-foot facility exceeds guidelines set forth by a state formula.

If we have learned anything in education it should be that one size does not fit all.

Educators are quick to point out such is the case when it comes to instructional methods, learning processes and social integration. It applies to facilities, too.

The school district was on the right track with its proposed gym that would ultimately give the county a 4,000-seat auditorium that would meet school and community needs now and for years to come.

It makes sense to build a multi-million dollar gymnasium that can serve a myriad of functions. It is certainly the case here as the gymnasium itself will be large enough to host graduations, concerts and other functions but also have attached areas for the JROTC program, health education and humanities classrooms.

The worst mistake would be to have to go back to the drawing board in just a few years because the facility no longer meets all the needs of the district and the community.

Although the waiver by the DOE may be little more than a formality and is something that others have done in the past, we hope it is an issue that gets resolved very quickly. Assuming the Clark board approves moving forward with the waiver, school leaders would present their case to the state board in February.

The positive news is this should not slow the process much as architects will continue the design steps.

Having a facility that serves our students today and for years to come is a project worth investing in.