Mason City School Board approves architect for auxiliary gym, swimming pool project

MASON CITY — The Mason City School Board this week approved an architect that will design an auxiliary gymnasium and swimming pool for the high school complex. The board unanimously approved Bergland and Cram of Mason City after hearing from four firms during a special meeting two weeks ago. A budget and timetable for the project has not yet been set.

Board member Lorrie Lala says now that an architect has been chosen, the board can work on picking a plan for the project.  “In my opinion, the board’s involvement will be ‘this is how much money we’re going to spend’ because we’re all short-timers, this is how much money we’re going to spend and that will let the people that are going to use the gym work with the architect to design what they want within the budget that we give them.”

Superintendent Dave Versteeg says the next step in the process is to have the architects work with the stakeholders to develop the project.  “It’s an engagement process to determine the need and determine wants and determine the practicality with the board of what do we really want to have. Again, if the board wishes are to work backwards from the budget, that’s very doable, or there’s cost estimate element to this proposal also, so you can work at it from both ends.”

The auxiliary gym would provide more space at the high school for practices and other activities. The pool at John Adams Middle School, which is used by the high school swim teams, was constructed in 1962 and only has four lanes for competitions.