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January 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
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January 19, 2012
 

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12 I The Lovell Chronicle I January 19, 2012 Cowley seeks $1 mil. grant for log gym; BHCSD One partnership a possibility BY BOB RODRIGUEZ During their first meet- ing of 2012, trustees of Big Horn County School Dis- trict One dealt in near- record time with matters including a possible part- nership with the Town of Cowley for use of the histor- ic log gymnasium (now the Cowley Community Cen- ter) for which the town is in the running for a $1 million grant for renovation that would include additional recreational facilities. All seven trustees and seven district staffers, but no patrons, attended the meeting at the Burlington Schools library on Tuesday night, Jan. 10. The board gathering lasted approxi- mately 32 minutes. Admin- istrative Assistant Gene- vieve Mann said later that she "believes that there was one meeting years ago that lasted 25 minutes, but this one was close" to that re- cord for all-time meeting brevity. The public assembly of the district trustees marked the first in approximately five years that an execu- tive session, closed to the public and press, was not held. Supt. Shon Hocker said during the December meeting that such nonpub- lic sessions would be held only when necessary from that point. The regular meeting was preceded by a four-min- ute get-together of the five trustees who serve as offi- cers of the Big Horn County Recreation District. The rec board voted 5-0 to re-elect current officers: Koleen Sponsel as chairman, Ed Riding as vice chairman and Paul Rasmussen as secretary/treasurer. Non- officer members are Dave Monk and Joan Zier. The rec district distributes fund- ing for Cowley, Frannie, Deaver, Byron, Burlington and Otto. Cowley Mayor Joel Pe- terson said last week that some $8 million in state funds for preservation of qualifying historical sites is available. Cowley is in line for $1 million of that, as preliminary steps already have been taken and the outlook appears positive. The town has gone through a due diligence process and a walk-through by state ar- chitectural aides, Peterson said. "They liked what they saw," he added. It's possi- ble that an award could be announced a bit later this year. The mayor continued that under the planned re- modeling, "We're hoping for a super-major project" that would result in a complete revamping with modern im- provements while retaining the integrity and appear- ance of the original struc- ture. The building, made of lodgepole pine, contains ap- proximately 9,000 square feet of space and was erect- ed in 1936 by the Works Program Administration. The site is on the U.S. Na- tional Register of Historic Places. Peterson said that the town would like to have the school district as a partner in connection with paying rent for use of the remod- eled community center. Hocker, who noted that family memberships might be available, also asked the board if it would be inter- ested in pursuing such an arrangement for the dis- trict and trustees indicated their agreement. Hacker's presentation was solely for discussion; no vote was tak- en. With the district show- ing the possibility of such an agreement, the town would be in a better posi- tion to show the state his- torical preservation group that it could maintain the site without much difficul- ty. Other organizations also could be involved in such partnerships, it was indi- cated, thus giving the town even more backing. Hocker told the board that there are "some gran- diose ideas, some big plans" for the renovation, but that the district is not obligat- ed for any use funding at this time. Perhaps $5,000 to $5,600 per year might eventually be involved for using the facility, he said. The cost could be negotiat- ed based on usage, tie stat- ed. But he stressed that he would not obligate the district without board ap- proval. "If we're not obligat- ed, then why not?" stated Trustee Brett Crosby. Hav- ing additional space could mean that early morning and some evening sports practices and other activity sessions could be eliminat- ed, making it easier on stu- dents in many ways, said Zier. "It's worth pursuing," observed Monk, chairman of the school district board. In other matters trust- ees: *Unanimously accept- ed with indications of re- gret the resignation of San- dy Harrison as part-time school nurse at Burlington Schools; and approved em- ployment of Mike Higgins as assistant girls basketball coach at RMMS, and Car- ol S. McIntosh as an aide for the English Language Learners program for two hours per day at Burlington for the current school year in what Hocker called "kind of a pilot program." *Voted 7-0 for Business Manager Richard Parker to retain as district deposi- tories the Bank of Lovell and Security State Bank in Basin, plus Columbus Bank & Trust Co. in Atlanta, Ga., the latter in connection with a district insurance plan. *Learned from Hock- er that a 2012-2013 calen- dar will be presented to the board for approval during the Feb. 13 board meeting in Cowley, and the board tentatively scheduled a special phone conference meeting during the next week or two to approve RMES Special Education employment and out-of- district students. Go local ... Advertise now on Wyoming's #1 rated 'small weekly newspaper' website ... Call www. Lovel ICh ron 00cle.com auctions. 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