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Potential expansions for sports facailites at Muskego High School being examined by School Board

Weight room, fieldhouse and swimming pool upgrades under consideration

April 4, 2014

Muskego — If Muskego High School ever gets around to building swimming pool, field house or weight room additions, most of it would fit best on the south and west sides of the school, according to a recent consultant's report for the Muskego-Norway School Board.

The board wanted to look more closely at where such potential long-range building might happen because at the time it was seriously considering a weight room in the near future. Because the floor of the weight room was found last summer to be giving out, one of the options considered was building an addition.

It would relieve cramped conditions in the heavily used weight room and allow room for the program to grow.

With a new pool and field house possibly somewhere on the horizon, the School Board didn't want to build a weight room addition that might get in the way of those larger plans. So, it hired consultant Eppstein Uhen Architects to figure out potential locations of the additions.

While the study was underway, the School Board began to lean away from a weight room addition because of the need for other facilities in the district, especially at the elementary level. However, a weight room addition could still be part of the bigger picture one day, members said.

That bigger picture was painted in broad brush strokes by architect Robert Vajgrt who said a weight room addition could go west of the Salentine gym, a new swimming pool could go on the south side of the school and a field house next to that on the west side.

Other improvements that have been mentioned — concessions area, team rooms, box office — could be added onto the west part of the field house or located in separate buildings

All that would wipe out parking on the south side of the school, Vajgrt acknowledged. Although some parking might be recouped in a couple of places, including paving over the practice field on the west side of the school.

The parking loss would not be as much if the Salentine gym is expanded into a field house. However, that might cost more than building a new field house, Vajgrt said. That's because the roof trusses go in the wrong direction, he said. The gym roof would actually have to be removed and the walls taken down to build the field house correctly, he said.

The kind of free-standing field house he used for his outline is a middle-of-the-road sized field house with four basketball courts, a six-lane track and an eight-lane straight away. The 52,000-square-foot facility could easily hold 2,000 spectators for graduation ceremonies, he said.

If a pool addition is built, Vajgrt even explored what could be done with the area where the pool is now. It might become the new weight room, he said. Or it could become a commons area, an overflow for the cafeteria or serve as additional learning space, he suggested.

In fact, a decision about a pool addition might well come before a decision about a weight room addition. The current pool is aging and is not deep enough for diving, according to the new Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association standards. The WIAA grandfathered the pool in so it can still be used for now, but School Board members worry how long the exemption will last.

If it's taken away, the Muskego swim program would no longer be competitive without a diving component, said Scott Kugi, athletic and activities director. Diving is part of the team score, he said.

"We'll have to cancel the diving program or address the depth issue," Kugi said.

Against all these long-range uncertainties, the pool needs a new liner, said Superintendent Kelly Thompson. That is due to happen next year, she said.

It will probably cost $230,000, said Jeremiah Johnson, director of buildings and grounds. Pool liners need to be replaced about every 20 years, he said.

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