Southeastern schools still pondering new building

Earlier this year, Southeastern Local School superintendent, David Shea showed where the district hopes to build a new multi-purpose gymnasium near Miami View Elementary school. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Earlier this year, Southeastern Local School superintendent, David Shea showed where the district hopes to build a new multi-purpose gymnasium near Miami View Elementary school. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Southeastern school leaders are still trying to decide whether they want to build a new gymnasium/ multi-purpose building on the Miami View Elementary School campus.

School Board President Tony Entler said the school board will discuss the future of the project at the next regular meeting on July 18. The board has held a couple meetings over the last couple months with community members

“We’ve had good discussions on the need,” Entler said.

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The new building will not cost taxpayers any extra money and will be paid out of the district’s general fund, Entler said. A estimated cost to the project has not been released.

Superintendent David Shea previously said the building will likely be around 20,000 square feet. Entler said the school board still needs to decide exactly what they want out of the building before they know for sure how large it will be.

Shea, who is on vacation this week and was not available for an interview, did previously talk about what might be in the new building.

“The multi-purpose building would house a full-sized basketball court that would also have side basketball goals (like a regular gym),” Shea wrote in a letter that was posted on the school’s website. “The court configuration will also allow for side-by-side volleyball practice courts. The building will have a two-lane track encircling the basketball court, and a separate wrestling room. There will also be a training room, possibly two offices, bathrooms and a storage room.”

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The new building won’t be the home of the Southeastern High School basketball programs. They will continue to play at the high school. The potential new gymnasium would however be a spot for the newer wrestling program.

Entler said he believes there is a need in the district for the building. Currently, Miami View students are stuck inside classrooms during recesses when inclement weather hits. Entler said he feels it is important for kids to have a chance to run off some energy during recess so they can pay better attention in class.

The building could also help youth sports. Entler said during basketball season because there is so much participation that younger teams often don’t finish up practice until late.

“You have some kids not coming home until 9 or 9:30 p.m. in the dead of winter.,” Entler said. “That is not safe.”

He said the new building would let the district spread out practices and get kids home at a reasonable hour.

And it wouldn’t just be students that could use the facility. Entler said there would be opportunities for community members to use the space to safely walk and get exercise or for community meetings.

“It’s not just a gym,” Entler said. “We’ve talked about selecting some community members, and after a background check, letting them open the building up in the mornings so the community can use it also,” Entler said. “That way we can get the most use out of it.”

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Parents interviewed outside of Miami View earlier this year said they would support a building being built on campus, but said they wanted to make sure the school was paying for the project without asking the taxpayers to pay more.

The July 18 school board meeting is set to start at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Continuing coverage

The Springfield News Sun will continue to cover important education issues in our communities. The Springfield News-Sun has covered report cards, drug testing and buidling plans over the last year.

By the Numbers

20,000: Approximate square footage of a new building in the Southeastern school district.

703: students in the Southeastern school district

406: Students at Miami View Elementary School.