School board studying gymnastics financing options

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

A decision on where the Benson-Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (BKMS) gymnastics program home will be could be decided at the Monday night District 777 Board of Education meeting.

At that meeting, the school board should have costs estimates for constructing a building that is currently estimated at $1.5 million. Several school board members have said that cost could be closer to $1.2 million. The cost would be financed over 10 or 15 years.

At its Dec. 2 meeting, the school board voted 6-1 to not sign a 10-year lease agreement with the City of Benson for the north end of the civic center.

Benson’s council has set a deadline of Dec. 16 for the school board to make a decision on whether or not it would agree to lease the civic center as a new home for BHS gymnastics. If it were to go into the building, it would first have to have an estimated $400,000 in improvements completed. It could still vote to accept this option, but based on board discussions Dec. 2, that is unlikely.

Currently, the gymnastics program is housed at the Benson Armory. However, the city has been discussing renovating the building for a new city hall. The armory is also too small for the gymnastics program raising safety concerns.

At Monday night’s meeting, the school board will likely consider one of two options for building a new gymnastics facility on the school campus. Both options currently involved spending $1.5 million either through a lease purchase arrangement or through a bond levy...


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