Carroll to consider funding auxiliary gym at CCHS

By Allen Worrell Editor

September 19, 2013

The Carroll County Board of Supervisors will consider funding an auxiliary gym at Carroll County High School after unanimously approving a motion Sept. 9 by Bob Martin.

After the board held a discussion about taking over Woodlawn School on Oct. 15 from Carroll County Public Schools, Martin made a motion for the county to work toward adding an auxiliary gym at CCHS. An auxiliary gym was originally in the plans for Phase III renovations at the high school, but was later scrapped when funding for a $26.5 million project fell through and eventually turned into a $15 million project. With the addition of the ninth grade at the high school this year, 1,200 students now attend CCHS, increasing the need for an auxiliary gym, Martin said.

“There is 1,200 kids over there and the gym is used, they even go mornings over there now, the girls’ volleyball. And I mean it is used every afternoon, every weekend,” Martin said. “And for a 1,200 student high school we are about the only school I know of in the region or outside the region that has one gymnasium. I would like to move that the board go on record as in favor of the concept of an auxiliary gym at CCHS. That gives us wiggle room, it doesn’t bind you to anything. And I would hope the county administrator’s office could work some magic and let’s come up with some money.”

Chairman David Hutchins asked if Martin’s motion was for the county to look for ways to fund an auxiliary gym within its financial abilities. Yes, Martin said, adding that it is something the county should take a long, hard look at.

“I hope the interest rate drops to 2.5 percent, but at 3.5 percent that is pretty cheap money and it won’t ever get any cheaper. I just look at the fact that you’ve got contractors already on the job and that has to be an incentive for them to bid cheaper,” Martin said. “But my motion is that the board of supervisors go on record as being in favor of working toward building an auxiliary gym.”

Laurel Fork District Supervisor Joshua Hendrick seconded the motion. Supervisor Sam Dickson said he agreed with Martin. He said an auxiliary gym is badly needed. Money is tight, Dickson added, but if the county doesn’t look at funding it will never know if there is a way to fund it or not.

Hendrick said if an auxiliary gym were to be added, the county should look at using it to connect the main high school to the ninth grade wing so that students don’t have to be exposed to the elements and other safety concerns.

“I don’t know if you could that with a gym, but the way they are split now I don’t believe it is logistically the best thing,” Hendrick said.

Since he is an assistant principal at Carroll County High School, Martin said he knew there would be people accusing him of “putting a feather in his own cap” for making the motion for an auxiliary gym.

“And I would tell you I would ask for a transfer in a heartbeat out of that building and ask to be transferred anywhere. I just see a tremendous need there. It doesn’t help me or hurt me either way, but I predict this winter we may hear some concerns raised when kids have to go out in the rain and snow jostling back and forth two or three times between those buildings,” Martin said. “The bad thing is the whole thing is wide open. There is probably 300-plus kids either coming out of the upper part of the high school and the glass menagerie going down to the fieldhouse or coming out of the fieldhouse going up, and it goes on all day long. And it is probably as safe as we can make it, but I do not care for the idea of putting that many kids in the line of sight right along a state highway there.”

The board then unanimously passed Martin’s reworded motion for the county to look for the availability of funding for an auxiliary gym and to see if the county has the fiscal ability to support such a project.