Board discusses whether to go to six or eight lane track

Jessica Robinson

Business Manager Trevor Whitaker presented bids for the construction of the track and offered recommendations to the board at the Big Horn County School District No. 4 special meeting on Thursday, April 8.

Later in the meeting, board member Greg Gloy moved to approve the track recommendations and alternates. The motion was made to have a six-lane track.

In discussion, Gloy voiced his opinion about making the track eight lanes. The cost to have an eight-lane track would be approximately $89,000. Gloy said he knows that it would set their depreciation reserve down to $54,000, but what it could possibly bring to the school and the community is worth it.

Board member Austin Alexander asked if they would get bigger track meets with an eight-lane track.

Track Coach Dale Query said they could possibly get some bigger schools. He didn’t know if they would, though.

Board member Kristen Schlattmann asked how many schools they could have with a six-lane track.

Query said they can have as many as they want. Gloy added the meets would take longer. They can have seven or eight schools now, but those are small schools.

Board chairman Heath Hopkin said they need to do it now because they will not get another chance.

Schlattmann asked Whitaker why they are recommending the six over the eight. Whitaker cited financial reasons. Query thought it wasn’t an option.

Riverside Middle/High School Principal Matt Jensen said in his opinion they may have the possibility to host regional track if they can convince everyone in the west to travel to Basin. He wished there was something more set in stone where they feel comfortable about making the purchase.

Jensen said they have to have stands to host a big regional event. The current recommendation does not include stands. There would be costs involved with that along with fencing.

Supt. Dave Kerby said they were told they could use major maintenance on a six-lane track because they are a 2A school. They have to pay out of pocket for the extra two lanes.

Hopkin questioned whether this would be feasible. He added they would have to get stands down the road. Ultimately, Hopkin said he could go either way.

Gloy said he is not necessarily looking at regionals, but just being able to host a meet.

After discussion, the board went along with the recommendations, which means the track will be six lanes. The board also approved LCI Trucking and Construction, LLC out of Pavillion as the general contractor for the construction.

In other business, Whitaker also reported on the meet and confer committee. He said what everyone wants is steps and lanes this year. He added that there were some small requests, but by and large, they will be requesting steps and lanes. According to Whitaker, the approximate amount would possibly cost $15,000 to $20,000. However, the committee was going to meet on Monday to come up with a recommendation for the board.

Owners Rep. Tom Farrens gave a brief report on the locker room. He said they are moving right along. They are also working on some shop drawings and locker decisions.

Supt. Dave Kerby reported on advertising for a third track coach. They have over 30 students that have gone out for track. The recommendation was to hire Greg Mendenhall for the position. The board approved the recommendation later in the meeting.

Kerby mentioned the American Rescue Plan came to $303 million to the state. He also mentioned that SF 173 bill crashed, so there will be no change to school funding next year. He does not know what will happen. He said they would ride the tide and look forward to having a new school year.

In Kerby’s report, he mentioned discussions with the county public health about a mask variance. The variance that Kerby is suggesting is similar to Washakie County in that it would take effect a couple days before graduation.

There was an executive session for personnel.