Follow-Up: Tech Gymnastics and District 742 Working On Solution
ST. CLOUD -- WJON's follow-up series continues Friday with a look at whatever happened with the story around the Tech Tiger Gymnastics team.
Back in February dozens of students and parents attended a District 742 board meeting to protest the fact their program didn't have a dedicated space at the new Tech High School being built on the south side of St. Cloud.
In March the architect revealed they had updated the designs of the new high school to make it easier for future changes, however, at that time the cost for a new gym was still estimated at $2-3 million.
Karen Mastin, the mother of a Tiger Gymnast and one of the organizers of a petition started around the same time the plans were unveiled says, they're pleased with the progress that's been made and confident the district hasn't forgotten their issue.
"Although there will not be a gymnastics facility available at the new Tech site, we are encouraged that the district is committed to finding a viable solution. Plans for locating an alternate space are in the works."
School Board Chairman Al Dahlgren says the district is exploring multiple options to solve the issue. Superintendent Willie Jett recently gave the coaches of the program permission to explore the option of leasing out a dedicated space.
Dahlgren says, the district hasn't forgotten the gymnastics team, and their timeline should provide for the program's future and security since the new high school won't open until 2019.
"That gives us about 18 months. And if we're looking at possibly leasing space somewhere, that gives us more than enough time to build it out. In fact, the contractors told us if we were to build -- do an addition to the school for gymnastics space -- it'd take less than a year to do that."
Though the district is still in the very early stages of exploring lease options, and haven't committed to that course yet, one type of building the district is interested in is a space like Granite City Gymnastics, but for district use.
Dahlgren says the district is making this a high priority, and they're dedicated to finding a permanent solution when resources allow.