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Supervisors seek funds for 2nd CCHS gym

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The school’s 1,200 students need another place for classes and practices, says Supervisor Bob Martin.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Soon after an update on how work on the heating and cooling improvements at Carroll County High School has progressed, county supervisors unanimously approved the concept of seeking funds to add an auxiliary gym to the facility.
The school that’s seen its population grow to about 1,200 students with the addition of the ninth grade still needs one more addition, Supervisor Bob Martin said during Monday’s county board meeting.
His comments closely followed a discussion of the former Woodlawn School being turned over to the control of the county supervisors in October, and the need for the gym there to be made available to school sporting activities in order to host all events and practices.
Martin indicated that the population at the high school really requires a second gym.
“This ties to building use, and so forth,” Martin said. “I would like to make the motion that we work toward adding an auxiliary gym at Carroll County High School.”
With so many students, the existing gym is used all the time and students even go in early in the mornings to practice now, he said.
“It’s used every afternoon and every weekend,” Martin said. “We’re a 1,200-student high school. We’re about the only school I know of in the region or outside the region that has one gymnasium.”
He asked that the board go on record as being in favor of the “concept” of “working toward” an auxiliary gym.
Martin also hoped the county administrator’s office could work some financial magic to make that happened.
Supervisors Chairman David Hutchins sought to clarify the motion from Martin, more than once.
Interest rates are unlikely to go any lower than 3.5 percent. That’s the rate that Carroll County officials recently got on their funding for a project that included improvements to the more-than-four-decades-old heating and air conditioning system at the high school, taking natural gas service to the facility and adding a science, technology, engineering and math lab, Martin said.
This drew a quick second from Supervisor Josh Hendrick and support from others.
Supervisor Sam Dickson said he agrees that the second gym is badly needed.
A main reason why Hendrick supported the idea is that it would connect the main high school facility to the field house, so the students wouldn’t have to go outside to get from one building to another. “The way they’re split now I don’t believe is, logistically, the best thing.”
Martin is a vice principal at the high school now, and based at the field house. He said the new gym wouldn’t help or harm him. He looks at it as a student safety issue.
“I predict this winter we may hear some concerns raised… when kids have to go out in the rain and snow, jostling back and forth between the buildings,” Martin said.
He would rather not put so many children outside the line of sight between the two sets of buildings.
“Enough said. It’s just a real concern I have,” Martin said.
When Hutchins put it to a vote, the supervisors supported the motion unanimously.