District 742 Board Determined to Find Tech Gymnastics Program Permanent Home
ST. CLOUD -- After months of meetings, it looks like there's a possible, lasting solution to the question of Tech Gymnastics' future home.
District 742 took two steps to ensure the program's future at their meeting Wednesday night.
One was to approve a letter of intent to lease a space for the program. The letter is not binding, however, it does outline terms that are acceptable to the possible tenant -- in this case -- District 742. The lease, with the St. Cloud School of Dance, would be $8,760 a month for each "month of occupancy", which will be around seven months a year for a grand total of $61,320 a year.
The board also approved a motion made by member Jerry Von Korff that "directs the administration to find funding for and implement a permanent solution for the gymnastics program that preserves its essential character by the end of the two-year lease."
Karen Mastin is the mother of a Tiger Gymnast, and one of the organizers of a petition to draw attention to the issue started last winter. She says the lease means they don't have to worry for at least two years.
"We needed at least a short-term fix knowing that anything they'd be building in the future would take more time [than it will to finish the new Tech]."
She adds that the board's approval of Von Korff's motion means the girls in the program know their sport has a future.
"What it means is that the program can continue, and the young girls who were wondering whether they should stay with the Tech program or switch to a club team, can continue in a program that's affordable."
There are three options the district has for long-term solutions for gymnastics. One is an addition for a gymnastics only facility, or a fifth gym with a gymnastics pit and finally, additions for both a gymnastics only facility and fifth gym.
Depending on what the district decides, the cost could fall between $1.2 and $1.8-million.
The future of the program had come under some distress since the original plans for the new Tech High School did not include a dedicated space for the gymnastics team.
In total, over 600 girls are in the gymnastics program, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade.