Government classes propose facility upgrades

Grace Spellman, Jayna Keller | @whscharger

When given the chance to choose improvements for the school and Alma community, the senior government class chose to focus on building and improving sporting facilities.

Every year the Wabaunsee government class writes and proposes bills for improving the school and community.

The process begins with each student suggesting five possible bills. Once the list is combined the class begins to debate and narrow down to their top three overall. Along with debating which bills to push, students have to plan out all the possible questions the bills need to address.

This year’s bill process was different than in years past. Several ideas for facility improvement relied on the passing or failing of the USD 329 bond.

Government teacher Jess Rutledge helps his government class take measurements at the football concession stand while gathering information for the class’ proposed bill. The class called for a new structure that would include locker rooms, storage and a wrestling room.

Certain ideas were scrapped for lack of resources and funding. Along with having to work around the bond issue, students had to adapt to being remote for part of the process.

“The seniors this year, as opposed to years past, had more ideas that they wanted to be pushed through to become bills for improvement. I thought they all worked diligently and came up with some great ideas and plans for how to improve WHS,” history teacher Jess Rutledge said.

The 2nd hour class focused on improving the sports facilities at McKnight Park, including adding tennis courts, fixing issues with the baseball and softball fields, renovating the batting cages and repairing the concession stands and bathrooms.

The 5th hour focused on facilities at the football field. It’s bill calls for a renovated concession stand that includes locker rooms for players and officials with improved storage and a place for a wrestling room, as the current room isn’t even large enough for a full ring.

“As a class we decided that the multi-purpose building seemed to be the most logical choice. Some of the other options seemed too far-fetched. Also, I’m sad that I didn’t get to wear my powdered wig for this activity. I sadly forgot it at home,” senior Reagan Kelley said.

Here is the full text of each classes final bill:

2nd Hour bill 

Tennis Courts-

  • Section 1: New Tennis Courts
    • Article 1 – Install two new tennis courts to the east of the existing two courts. Two more courts would allow us to have a space to host 4-team meets. We would still not be eligible to host any regional or state tournaments, as they require a minimum of 6 courts.
    • Article 2 – These new courts would be identical to the existing ones (this includes fencing, entrances, along with the courts themselves).
    • Article 3 – One, disc golf basket currency lies about 75 feet to the east of the existing fence. This would need to be moved.
  • Section 2- New hitting walls
    •  Article 1- replace existing walls with new ones (8Hx12W) where the current ones are located.
    • Article 2 – Add two to the new courts as well.
  • Section 3 – Repaint existing courts
    •  Article 1 – Repaint the surface of the tennis courts
  • Section 4 – Concrete Walkway
    •  Article 1 – We would like to allow ten feet of space between the east fence of the existing courts and the west fence of the new courts. We would like this space to be turned into a concrete walkway that will be utilized as a space for equipment, spectator seating, and officials and scorers’ tables during meets.
  • Section 5 – Equipment shed
    •  Article 1 – install a small shed that could accommodate the tennis team’s equipment for practices and meets
    •  Article 2 – The shed will be located in between the courts on the concrete walk way
    •  Article 3 – It will be roughly 8’Wx8’Lx8’H in size

Baseball Fields-

  • Section 1: Redo the infield
    •  Article 1- Resurface the infield with new dirt, along with resetting the bases and digging up Homeplate to place more clay underneath and get it back to being at field level.
  •   Article 2- Rebuild the pitching mound. Also, add a place for an additional pitching rubber for younger age groups to use.
    •  Article 3- Purchase new bases for the field.
  • Section 2- Redo the outfield
    •  Article 1- Redo the grass (rototill the outfield to remove the grass and level the field to fix the uneven state). Planting new grass in mid to late July, with continued care, will have the field playable by the following spring.
  • Section 3- Batting Cages
    • Article 1- Reset the poles (many are bent).
    • Article 2- Fix the net.
    • Article 3- Trim the tree right next to the batting cage.
  • Section 4- Score Board
    •  Article 1- Put in a new scoreboard, or, replace the lightbulbs that are burnt out.
  • Section 5- Dugouts
    •  Article 1- Replace the benches and redo roof on both dugouts.

Softball Fields

  • Section 1- Dugouts
    • The bench
  • Article 1: Paint (by players) and seal the benches to avoid splinters or ripping of pants
  • Helmet storage
  • Article 1:Build compartment for helmets and gloves
  • Article 2: Possible to build in woodshop class 
  • Bat rack
  • Article 1: Buy a bat rack to fit 8-12 bats for players to avoid a mess on the ground 
  • Provide tarp for windy games
  • Article 1: During cold games sitting in the dugout isn’t ideal for players when they are about to go out in the field so providing a tarp will help with players staying a little warmer than they would without one
  • Section 2- Outfield
  • Article 1: Potholes, Even up the ground in the outfield (at least fix up to the softball temporary fence would go up (200 ft fence)
  •  Article 2: Re-seed the grass
  • Article 3: If evening up the ground re-seeding the grass will be necessary 
  • Section 3- Infield
    •  Article 1: Batter’s box needs to be level; not as big of holes in the box and catcher’s area
    •  Article 2: Fix infield/outfield ratio to be perfect all around (If you look on google earth the outfield is bigger/ smaller on each opposite side of the outfield so make either infield or outfield bigger on one side to even out the field)
  •  Section 4- Drainage issue
    • Article 1m The bases, batter’s box, and pitching mound all have really bad drainage problems by leveling the dirt in the infield as well
  • Section 5- Batting cage
    • Article 1: Add batting cage either by visitor side or behind the outfield fence in left field (No concrete use either infield dirt, turf, or grass)
  • Changes for the bathrooms/concession stand at the tennis courts, baseball, and softball fields
  • Section 1: Repairing the bathrooms/ concession stand
    • Article 1-The water fountains by the concession stands at the baseball field are run down, dirty, and desolate.
    • They barely work and only a dribble of water comes out. We need to either fix the existing water fountains or we purchase a new fountain. We can purchase a filling station for water bottles. The ELKAY EZH20 costs $1,119.51on amazon.
  • Article 2-
  • The concession stands have an outside overhang used for eating, socializing, and shade from the hot summers in Alma, however, most people do not use it due to inadequate seating. Purchases for a new park bench is cheap and easy and can provide some sort of outside seating. We are very certain that it will make everyone happy to sit in the shade and relax, especially the elderly!
    • Article 3-
      • The bathrooms by the tennis courts are filled with bugs and they need to be deep cleaned and sprayed to prevent future buildup. They should be cleaned at least semi-regularly so they are sanitary and presentable for our students and anyone else who uses the fields. 
      • The bathrooms should also be stocked up with toilet paper, paper towels, and soap more often. This is something that the cheerleaders could do as they run the concession stands most of the time.
      • The stalls are also wooden and the doors barely work. Replacing the stalls in there would be a big improvement to the bathrooms. 
      • There are also no mirrors in the bathrooms and those would be great additions.
      • The ceiling is unfinished and not only is it an attack on the eyes, but it increases the possibility of leaks and can increase the intensity of the summer sun. Bugs and rats and birds, filled with diseases can easily make their way into the restroom along with molds and other dangers. 
    • Article 4- 
      • A new AC unit should be added to the concession and bathroom area because it gets hot and humid in the summer when it is being used the most and it makes it uncomfortable for those who have to work the stand or use the bathrooms. It would create a small escape from the heat for those who have to stay at the fields for a large amount of time.

    5th hour bill

    • Section 1 – Concession Stands
      • Article 1
        • The countertop will be 21 ft. long with 3 windows that are each 5 ft long with 2 ft spaces between each window with 1-inch room at the ends.
      • Article 2
        • The appliance area behind the countertop area will be 16 ft by 3 ft. The space in between the countertop area will be a 3ft distance. 
      • Article 3
        • The door into the back/storage room and another door into the hallway will be 3ft wide. 
        • The shelving area in the backroom will be 11 ft. by 1 ½ ft. long.
        • There will be a grill in the back room that will be 3 ft by 1 ½ ft. 
        • There will be another shelving area on the right side that will be 7ft by 2ft.
        • There will be another countertop space that will be 16 ft by 2 ½ ft.

    Girls Locker Room~

    – Section 1 – Girls Locker Room

    • Article 1
      • The entrance to this locker room will have a door that is 8ft tall x 3.5ft wide
    •  Article 2
      • This locker room will have bathrooms that will be 21ft x 8ft. There will be three stalls including a handicap.
      • The stalls will each be 4ft and the handicap will be 7ft.
      • There will be one big sink that will be 6ft x 18in.
      • This sink will have 3 washing stations.
    •  Article 3
      • This locker room will have a shower room that is 10ft x 16ft.
      • There will be 2 shower stations with 4 shower heads at each station.
      • There will be a circular drain around the base of each station and another drain in between the two stations.
      • There will be a half wall to separate the lockers from this shower room.
    • The wall will be 5ft x 5ft with a 6ft gap to serve as an entrance, then another 5ft x 5ft wall. 
    •  Article 4
      • This locker room will have lockers that are 34 in high with an 18 in depth. The lockers will span the length of the wall.
      • There will be 30 lockers in total, 15 each side
      • One locker will be a top compartment and a bottom compartment.
      • There will be a bench that spans the length of the lockers on each side.

    Wrestling Room-

    • Section 1: Facility Dimensions

    Article 1

    • Bottom Level: Wrestling Room and Facilities
      • Wrestling Room- 68’ (L) x 47’ (W).
      • This area will be used as the main practice area.
    • Bottom Level: Restrooms
      • 2 Restrooms (Men’s & Women’s) that are 6’ (L) x 10’ (W) each, making a total of 12’ (L) x 10’ (W).
      • Each bathroom will have a toilet, sink, paper towel dispenser, and a baby changing station. 
    • Bottom Level: Coach’s Office
      • This space will contain an office, a private bathroom, and a storage area.
      • Private bathroom: 8’ (L) x 5’ (W) located in the upper right corner of the office space, will have a toilet, sink, and a shower.
      • Office Storage: 12’ (L) x 9’ (W), will be used as storage space for wrestling equipment and other things.
      • Office: 12’ (L) x 6’ (W), that is the main area it will also include the entrance to the whole area.
    • Bottom Level: Multipurpose Room
      • 12’ (L) x 17’ (W)
      • Can be used as a seating area for kid’s club wrestling parents.
      • Will have two doors going into the wrestling room, one 6’ door and one 3’ door.

    Storage Room:

    Section 1

    • Article 1:
      • Extend the size of the storage room, and adjust location accordingly
        •  The room will be 420 sq. ft, 42 ft wide by 10 ft long
        •  Location is moved to the basement portion of the building, to account for empty space on the east side of the building, next to the restrooms
      • Allow for storage for track, field, and football, increasing ease of access to all equipment.
        • There will be 2 shelves that extend from the north side of the room 3 feet, and that are 20 feet long, which gives each individual shelf 60 square feet of surface to work with.
        • These shelves will rise 4 feet off the floor, and stop with a 4 foot gap to the ceiling. 
        • These shelves will hold the track and field equipment, and the assorted football supplies, respectively.
        •  Hurdles will either rest next to the track shelf or be neatly stacked in a corner.

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