Craig Editorial Board, Jan. 14, 2009, to April 2009
- Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
- Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative
- Collin Smith, newspaper representative
- Marianna Raftopoulos, community representative
- Luke Schafer, community representative
- John Smith, community representative
- Lois Wymore, community representative
An opportunity has presented itself to the Craig and Moffat County community, an opportunity to settle a few issues at once.
It came in the form of representatives from the Moffat County School District's recent appearance before the Craig City Council to request money it would use to build a second, full-size gymnasium at Craig Middle School.
The money the school district asked for - $150,000 - isn't an insubstantial amount, but those dollars could go far in helping shore up recreational facility needs in the community, the Editorial Board contends.
The School District has enough money to build a small physical education space at CMS. Superintendent Pete Bergmann said that is all the district needs for the school's students and its curriculum.
The Editorial Board is thankful Bergmann did not leave the project at that and instead remembered his School District is part of a community.
His offer to the city is this: Chip in $150,000, and instead of having a small P.E. space only for middle school students, Craig can move closer to having a full-size gym for everyone to use.
City residents will have primary access to the gym every evening and weekend, and there also will be a cardio-exercise room available, Bergmann told the council.
The School District's offer has nothing to do with the existing full-size gym at the middle school. Its offer is to provide something new, at a good price.
Gyms can cost more than $1 million to build. Here, the School District already has a construction crew in place and designs established.
All it needs is a partner, or two.
Seeing how the city has a $431,000 surplus in its general fund, the Editorial Board doesn't see how it can pass on this opportunity.
A city contribution - combined with another $50,000 to $100,000 from another contributor - will give the school district enough to move forward with its enhanced gymnasium plans.
It also would perhaps be enough to satisfy both sides of an at-times contentious debate - the argument about whether Craig needs a full-scale recreation center.
The Editorial Board believes there is truth to both sides of the conversation regarding a recreation center project, which currently is being researched by a volunteer committee.
Yes, a recreation center would be a welcome addition to the community and provide our area with another amenity.
On the other hand, it is also true that local voters have rejected a recreation center in the past and asking them again to fund the project, particularly in these uncertain economic times, is unwise.
A readily accessible School District gymnasium available to the community - open to all comers and host to various activities - is perhaps a compromise to a divisive issue, and fiscally responsible.