Oshkosh School Board Panel Advances After-School Facilities Plan
OSHKOSH – Oshkosh Area School District officials say a planned $154 million plan for new after-school facilities will help create a great environment for its students and make it a “go-to” district.
Recommendations from the Facilities 2.0 Advisory Committee include a multi-purpose indoor sports facility with grass pitches, a performing arts center, an aquatics center and a new 4,000-seat stadium.
The projects are expected to cost between $147 million and $154 million based on estimates for the 2026-27 school year, which will likely be the next time the district begins the second phase of the district’s long-range facilities plan for consolidate 20 schools. in 14.
During the presentation, led by OASD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dave Gundlach and Clint Selle of Bray Architects, only one proposed installation had a defined location: the new performing arts center would be at North High School. The others had just suggested locations like a “central location near existing high schools” or a “high visibility area”.
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Gundlach said during discussions last year that the board asked the facilities advisory committee to find solutions to the needs of fine arts and sports facilities.
Board member Barbara Herzog added that the district had hoped to fix those issues in 2017, when she learned that the tracks at both high schools were in poor condition with cracks.
Selle pointed out that many of the proposed projects would be a huge improvement in the size of schools in the area. Selle said the indoor training ground would be larger than that of Kimberly High School and the 50-meter-long pool would be an Olympic-size pool, one of the first of its kind in the northeastern part of the city. state, which could serve to make Oshkosh more of a destination.
“As a competition venue it would be first class,” Selle said.
The Oshkosh Area School Board expressed support for these facility plans, with many members adding how it will help students compete at the highest level.
Several council members said the addition of an indoor training facility would mean athletes wouldn’t be training in hallways if district fields were flooded or playing baseball in the parking lot.
Board member Stephanie Carlin said the ability for families to come to Oshkosh for sports tournaments or other competitions would be a benefit to the community.
Carlin said that while she travels to sports tournaments for her children in other parts of the state, her family will stay and visit the cities. Upgrading facilities might bring business to local restaurants and hotels if people were to stay overnight for tournaments.
“This is a huge investment not just for our students, but for our community,” Carlin said.
Selle said the district’s priority in its consolidation agenda would remain academics, and said funding from donors and local businesses would be “much needed” to get any of the projects off the ground.
Members of the school’s advisory committee also spoke at the meeting, and both said it would be a great roadmap for the community to help make it a destination school district, especially that some parents “shop around” for the best schools.
The price would be high – board members all noted after the presentation – but Selle said projects could follow a more “phased” process.
The next stage of these projects would be a workshop that could add some recommendations to the district’s consolidation plan, which is scheduled for October 12.
Board member Christopher Wright said adding these types of facilities would give Oshkosh a chance not to “hold back” other districts. Wright said the community can change that idea by coming together and funding better facilities.
“It’s a chance to do something about it,” Wright said.
Editor’s Note: An earlier edition of the article miscredited the Oshkosh District official presenter. This change and other corresponding quotes have been corrected.