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Muskego leaning toward single weight room option

Multiple locations would have been too hard to supervise

June 9, 2014

Muskego — Putting the Muskego High School weight room into a consolidated art and Project Lead the Way classroom seems to now have the inside track with the Muskego-Norway School Board.

The board seemed to favor the new idea over the previous plan which was to split weight room activities up between a study hall being temporarily used as a weight room and a reconstructed weight room.

In August, the weight room floor was discovered to be too deteriorated to safely hold up the heavy weight room equipment. So, the weight machines were moved to the study hall which is on grade. But there wasn't room for the aerobic equipment such as bicycles so it was put into storage while a more permanent solution was sought.

Leaving the weight machines in the study hall permanently became a leading possibility when the School Board learned how much it would cost to make the weight room floor strong enough for them. But the floor could be made strong enough for the exercise bikes for much less cost and until last week, that split option seemed out in front of all the other options that had been considered.

But the board liked the new classroom consolidation plan because it would be easier to supervise one weight room than a weight room and an aerobics room and because the study hall was not ideally located, being beside classrooms and far from locker rooms. The art and Project Lead the Way rooms are both on grade and closer to locker rooms.

The plan is to still repair the old weight room floor and use it for classes. The estimated cost is $82,000, said Jeremiah Johnson, supervisor of buildings and grounds.

The cost of the new weight room option is about $204,000, he said The walls between the two classrooms that are separated by offices and a closet would have to come down, the drop ceiling removed, lighting and HVAC reworked, flooring work done, and the whole thing repainted, Johnson said.

The cost includes moving the Project Lead the Way to available space is closer to the other Project Lead the Way classrooms, he said.

The art room would not be moved because art enrollment is now low enough that the two remaining art rooms will be able to handle all the student artists, said Superintendent Kelly Thompson. The art teacher who conducts classes in the art room is retiring, she said.

One of the remaining art rooms would be made handicapped accessible and sinks would be added to make it just like the current art classroom that might be needed for the weight room, School Board President Rick Petfalski said after last week's meeting.

Although the School Board is still considering its options, the new weight room option has some attractive features, including being easier to supervise, he said.

"Breaking things up in multiple locations presents problems with supervision," he said.

"It also gives more space than we had before," Petfalski said. The old weight room had 5,000 square feet and the new option is 6,000 square feet. The weight room hit its capacity even with machines crowded together and coaches and physical education teachers have wanted more space.

"It would be good because we can serve more students and space the equipment out properly," Petfalski said.

School Board member Brett Hyde also sees advantages in the new option: "It's closer to the main locker rooms so students don't have to traipse through the school to get to the weight room."

It has more room than the old weight room, it has a better layout, "And the best thing is it is on grade," he said.

Several students unaware of the lower art enrollments protested at the meeting what they saw the potential closing of the art room as a loss of art opportunities.

But Hyde said after the meeting, "They're really not losing anything." And Petfalski said, "We're not taking away anything from art."

Another student concern was the potential loss of a student-created mural in the art room. School officials were unaware of the mural, but Petfalski said that issue would be investigated if the new option is approved.

NEXT STEP

WHAT: next Muskego-Norway School Board discussion and possible action on establishing a new weight room

WHEN: Monday, June 16

WHERE: Educational Services Center, S87 W18763 Woods Road

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