School Board discusses future addition to DCHS

Showing possible options for a new wrestling room and locker rooms, Senior Principal Architect Tim Ripp of Architectural Firm Clark Enersen examines how DCHS could attach these additions to the weight room. Cost and space will determine whether the locker rooms will be for the high school or middle school.

Nicole Buntgen, Co-Editor

Starting in March of 2016, David City High School will be building an addition consisting of a new weight room and commons area tentatively finishing in October.

The School Board hired Architectural Firm Clark Enersen to help design and build the addition. Enersen attended a special public Board meeting in the District Office on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. to discuss design options.

The weight room will be approximately 4,000 square feet, and the commons roughly 5,000, stretching over the empty land north of the high school. The commons will include a concessions stand and public restrooms. Superintendent Chad Denker said these measurements will vary depending on the total cost of the project. Currently, they’re estimating $1.75 million.

The Board was having trouble coming to a conclusion on whether to place a rack, mirror, window layout and then repeat, or to simply place as many windows on the north side of the room as they can for natural lighting.

Members were wondering what should be seen first when entering the new addition of the school. Board members also had thoughts on making the south side of the weight room all glass. The architects suggested guests would rather see the gym, a David City mural, or a display of past State Champion trophies rather than a new weight room.

As for the commons area, Denker said the Board hopes to design the space so it can be used for various events, such as soup suppers and academic purposes. Denker urged Board members to think about what the commons will be used for years down the road, aside from athletic purposes.

“It’s not just for 4 p.m. and on. The perception should not be just athletics, it should be more than that,” Denker said. “I would hope we are more than that.”

Phase two of the wide-spread plan may consist of new high school offices located east of the new commons or current gym. The space would stretch out in either one long corridor, or in a racetrack style. The future phase may also include new locker rooms and a wrestling room. As of right now, that information has not been officially finalized.

Phase three would consist of a 500-seat theater used for Band and Choir concerts, One-Act play productions, musicals, Speech events, assemblies, and community fine arts presentations. The theater would maintain access around the perimeter so loading, unloading One-Act set pieces, and accessing the stage would be easier. Denker said this phase could take anything from five to 20 years to take place.

“I think it will be really, really good. Mr. Ockander deserves a better place to practice because the One-Act’s done so well in the past,” senior Trisha Hruska said. “He works so hard for his students and he deserves a place where they can actually practice without being disturbed.

A new wrestling room and locker rooms were looked at for phase four. The locker rooms may or may not be for the high school, as the Board discussed using them for middle school and visiting team purposes, depending on cost and space on the north side of the current building.

Taking the place of the current wrestling room will be a new, 50×80 wrestling room. The room will be ten feet longer and six feet wider than the current space being used. Two full mats should fit, Denker said.

According to Denker, phases three and four could be switched or modified as nothing has been verified.

The Board asked the city to join the October committee and to request closing streets D and E once construction begins for the new addition.

Enersen suggested looking at a two-story option down the road so the school as a whole stays small and doesn’t take up two city blocks. Denker said he personally prefers to keep with a one-story concept for the future.

“The Board is looking at both short-term and long-term needs and creating a facility plan that will address both those issues,” Denker said. “Members understand that we have a 100-year-old building and there are always surprises that come with maintaining an older building that can force you to change your plans.”