board form a community advisory committee to address residents' concerns.
Some residents said they didn't like the idea of the district renting
the gyms out to community groups, such as local basketball and soccer
youth leagues. Some said they were concerned by the traffic and parking
problems that the after-school activities could bring to their
neighborhoods. Besides congestion on the street, some also said they
worry about safety and noise caused by speeding cars.
Principals, coaches and parents applauded the district for its efforts
to build the facilities to improve physical education classes, bolster a
sense of community and allow for better accommodations for families
during graduation ceremonies, plays and parent meetings.
"We don't get the money like other programs," said Jack Edwards, a
physical education coach at Vista View Middle School who said he hoped
the gyms would allow him to teach a better physical education curriculum
with high standards.
Some parents and residents welcomed the centers that would give
children a safe place for recreation, as well as promote sports and
The divided group took Supt. Jim Tarwater by surprise. He said he
expected the community would embrace the issue.
"I apologize," he said. "I thought everybody would be for something
that we haven't been able to build in 28 years."
Despite the concerns, board members said they didn't want to stall
construction. The board hopes to work out concerns and other details
through the advisory board, trustees said.
The board is expected to discuss the project, as well as the community
advisory board, in more detail at its meeting Oct. 3.