January 20, 2011 |

Next school project: Locker room rebuild

Haines Borough and school district officials are working on a plan to rebuild the locker rooms in the school gymnasium and swimming pool.

Project director Brad Maynard recently asked Jensen Yorba Lott architects to submit a proposal for remodel of the locker rooms. The borough hopes to use the firm’s plans and estimates in a school capital funding request to the Alaska Legislature in 2012.

The project could cost between $600,000 for an "economy" renovation to $1.3 million, a pricetag that would include fixing the pool’s heating and ventilation system. It’s unclear whether the system ever worked as designed, as it’s been modified since.

At 30 years old, the locker rooms are showing their age, users say. Swim club parent Scott Bradford described the pool’s men’s locker room: "A lot of the showers at different times don’t work. There’ve been problems with the floor drains. On some of the lockers, the bottoms have rusted clean out. I put a lock on one just so kids wouldn’t get in there and get cut up."

Though some showers don’t work and its fixtures are aging, the gym locker rooms appear to be in better shape than the ones upstairs, more grungy than inoperable.

School superintendent Michael Byer is charged with working with coaches and pool manager Patricia Peters to determine needs.

"We’re trying to come up with a plan. We’ll have the same spaces, but a different look. We’re also looking for a place to store wrestling mats," Byer said.

Locker room improvements were at the end of a list of possible add-ons to the school reconstruction project. Most of the remainder of leftover project funds were used to build a roof over a playground on the school’s west side.

The bulk of effort in rebuilding the school occurred on the west side of the campus. "The further you go in that direction toward the gym, the less was done," Byer said this week.

Work is continuing on improving acoustics in the Karl Ward Gym. That includes working with a Juneau sound engineer and pricing sound absorption panels.