Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 19:23
Administrative plan proposes to expand exercise room at high school without moving wrestling facility
In the wake of strong public input, administrators at the Northern Ozaukee School District have come up with a plan to expand the fitness room at Ozaukee High School without compromising the school’s wrestling room.
Supt. Blake Peuse told the School Board on Monday that a plan has been developed to expand the current weight room to more than 4,000 square feet by knocking down a wall to access some space in an adjacent classroom.
“We would also maintain the current weight room space and extend this space to the north by creating openings through to the current hallway that leads out to the track and football field and continue that opening through to a classroom that is just north of that hallway,” Peuse said.
“We are 90% a go with this plan,” he said, adding that some details have to be worked out regarding the placement of I-beams to reinforce the walls.
The plan also calls for a new door on the west side of the room, allowing for access without having to walk through the school halls.
That access was seen as a key factor in district plans to eventually open the weight room — which will be repurposed into a fitness center — to the community.
Officials said the expanded facility, which will offer a variety of exercise equipment, will be used for strength training for physical education classes and student athletes.
The administration was forced to rethink plans to move the fitness room into the wrestling room after nearly 100 people showed up for a tour of the facilities. Many of those people said the proposal down-played the importance of the wrestling program.
“I would characterize this as a win-win for everyone. It allows for the creation of a fitness center that will benefit all students in the near term and gives us the flexibility we are looking for,” Peuse told the board.
He said the high interest in the fate of the weight room and wrestling facility was not unanticipated.
“While there was a strong reaction, it was not unexpected,” Peuse said.
“In essence, the information that people provided to us was helpful in not only sharing the importance of maintaining the wrestling space but also showed a tremendous interest in a larger and more accessible fitness center.”
He said the district hopes to get sports teams and local businesses involved in supporting the project, which is expected to cost about $10,000.
Once structural details are resolved, work on the project will begin so the facility is available for the start of the upcoming school year.