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School District task force tweaks recommendations

"POULSBO - The Capital Facilities Task Force, which has given the North Kitsap School Board several recommendations on what it should include on a potential upcoming bond request, has given the board two more. The first recommendation is a multipurpose room to be built for Spectrum Community School. The second is to keep the community pool renovation on the bond. The need for the multipurpose room at Spectrum, task force members say, became apparent after the facilities meeting at Spectrum. A cross-section of teachers and staff members said the room was their first priority. The district's architects, who have been estimating costs on the projects as the task force project has continued, have estimated the cost of the room at $600,000, and the size of it at 4,000 square feet. The task force made its new recommendations at a workshop session on Thursday afternoon. At that meeting were two representatives of Spectrum, one of whom was Cheri Streimikes. Streimikes was with the school when it opened, and attended the meeting to attend to its future. The multipurpose room is needed, she said. Our music program is hot, and we have a killer drama department, she said, but we have no room where we can put those kids to cut their teeth. Streimikes added, When we have a school meeting, kids have to stand outside and peek in the windows. The student population at Spectrum is at 140 and growing. The school is at capacity and has a waiting list. Our need at Spectrum was so important, we explained it to the task force, and they changed their proposal. And we're thankful, she said. The second recommendation was to keep the pool renovations as part of the bond the school board could run early next year. That issue has been more heated. Terry Heindl, the assistant superintendent in charge of finance who has been working with the task force, told the school board, They've fought over this as much as you did. There are many factors as to why the pool debate is thorny, but the main factor is cost. The pool is expensive to operate and soon will have to have major renovations. The heating, ventilation and conditioning system is broken, the outside walls have been breached by moisture, and mold is growing inside the building. Keeping the pool on the bond would allow the school district to repair the pool - but could mean the school district will pay all the costs associated with the pool, something the board members don't want to do. Keeping the pool off the bond could send the city and county a message that the school district is serious about getting help on paying for the building - but risk alienating the voters, with whom the pool is popular. The popularity of the pool is another factor. Some people believe that including the pool on the bond means that voters would be sure to vote for it. But some believe the cost of the pool could sink the bond. At the meeting Thursday night, North Kitsap School Board President Dick Endresen expressed a belief that the district should get an ironclad agreement with the city or county that they would share the cost of running the pool before the school board put the costs on a bond. The yearly drain on the classroom is what concerns me, he said, referring to the cost of running the pool. That's a million dollars every four years. But several task force members doubted that such an agreement could be made before the district would need to run a bond - which may be as early as February, 2001. I don't think we can get an ironclad agreement with anyone in a month, said local architect and task force member Thom Walker. Walker continued by saying, Voters look for a reason not to vote for a bond. If there's no pool on it, they're going to think, (the school board) isn't looking out for the pool. Task force member Jane Ritley agreed, saying that not including the pool could create animosity with voters, while including it could help get the vote of people who don't have children in the district but use the pool. Endresen thanked the task force for its work. We're all thankful for the work you did, he said. But the board will have to decide if we agree with all of it (the recommendations), part of it, or some of it. And that'll be something we'll have to decide. "

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