Vision for new GMS still evolving

by nathan oster

CTA has reached the 35-percent mark in its design of the new Greybull Middle School.

Jim Baldwin, the project manager, Jim Beal, the principal in charge and project designer, and Karen Kelly, the education project leader, shared CTA’s vision for the school with staff members and the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on March 11.

The project is officially a go, as funding for the new building was appropriated by the Legislature during its recent session in Cheyenne. All along, CTA was operating under the assumption that it would be, and now that’s cleared the 35-percent hurdle, it will look to meet the 65-percent deadline this week and the 95-percent deadline by April 11.

If those deadlines are met, CTA would be able to “put the drawings on the streets” toward the end of April and to bid the project toward the end of May.

CTA spent the day on March 11 meeting with teachers and administrators who will use the facility.  Once again, those discussions resulted in some tweaks.

Among the changes that have been made since the 10-percent presentation is a relocation of the primary entrance to the building.  It is now on the northeast part of the site, at a point where it could be accessed from the parking lot in front of the high school. In fact, CTA is now proposing no changes whatsoever to the parking configurations — just restriping. The change was made, at least in part, to keep costs down.

The grounds of the school also feature a fenced-in courtyard between the north end of the new middle school and the south end of the high school.

As it’s now designed, there would be two secure vestibules at the front entrance to the building. And as is the case at the current GMS, visitors would need to be buzzed in by someone in the front office.

People passing through those vestibules would immediately enter a commons area, and from there, they could access the science room or one of the other three classrooms currently included on the ground floor.

The second floor, as well as the first, would have space for an RTI classroom, as well, as three other large classrooms and one special education classroom.  A conference/breakout room would also be set up on the second floor.

Among the changes that took place between the 10 percent and 35 percent presentations were the elimination of a round room and the relocation of a stairway.

The computer labs are still ticketed for the space on the west side of the GMS Gym, which is now home to the Special Services offices.

In other March 11 business:

• Sharon Collingwood was hired as the new middle school counselor.

• The board accepted the resignations of Darla Henderson, the food services supervisor, and Mary Packer, a custodian at Greybull Elementary School.

• L.D. Anderson, Inc., of Shell was awarded the bid to demolish the Greybull swimming pool. Anderson’s bid came in at $111,497.  Capital construction funding will be used for the project, and at the moment, the district doesn’t have enough to cover the expense.  But Bryant is meeting with the School Facilities Commission this week to secure the remaining $37,500.

• The board approved an out-of-district request for a student to attend GMS for the remainder of the school year.

• Clerk Jean Petty expressed frustration about recent legislation that prevented school teachers from getting the same type of raises as the ones given to University of Wyoming employees —and with her conversations with key lawmakers who didn’t appear very interested in anything she had to say. Petty said school boards and the teachers themselves need to be better advocates for the teachers and all that they are doing to educate the youth of this community.

• After emerging from an executive session, the board agreed to follow the superintendent’s recommendation to offer contract to all current certified staff members for the 2014-15 school year.