High School golf okayed as sport in 2001
High school construction projects
reviewed at board meeting here

Gary Bocheck, director of operations for the school district, answers questions on drawings of improvements and additions planned for Seeley-Swan High School next year. Missoula County School District board member Rett Parker, left, and student trustee Aron Anders.

November 23, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

By Donna Love
For the Pathfinder

The Missoula County Public School Board of Trustees held its regular meeting in Seeley Lake at the Seeley-Swan High School in the Multipurpose Room on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. Items on the agenda of interest to the Seeley Lake area were updates on the renovation of the High School Gym, the building of the new Resource Center and the vote to instate golf as a Varsity Sport at Seeley-Swan High School.

During the Public Comment session several people in the community voiced their support for golf becoming a Varsity Sport. Gayle Gordon expressed that when money had been raised locally for the sport last spring, around forty students signed up. She feels that that was a substantial amount of interest. She also read a letter sent to her by Stan and Colleen Nicholson, senior golfers in the area who support the action. They feel that golf has been a "positive unifying force" in the community providing a "common ground" for people from many walks of life.

Ed Bezanson, Head Golf Pro at the Double Arrow Golf Club voiced his support saying that the Club was behind the proposal. He offered his time and help in scheduling the class and in setting up tournaments. He indicated that donations last year made it possible for students to take golf without having to buy their own clubs if they couldn't afford them. He further stated that there was the potential for college scholarships siting the one awarded to a student last year. Donna Love, speaking on behalf of parents, pointed out the program was for both girls and boys and that it was a "life long sport" that also "taught manners."

Later in the evening during the Business Session the Board approved the proposal making golf a Varsity Sport at the Seeley-Swan High School beginning in the Spring of 2001.

Missoula County Superintendent of Schools, Mary Vagner, seven Board Members and three student trustees attended the meeting. Arons Anders, Student Trustee from the Seeley-Swan High School addressed the Board reporting that the Girl's Basketball Team took third place in District and is on their way to Divisionals in Hamilton. He also reported that the school held a Food Drive contest that collected 450 cans of food for the Lion's Club Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket program, noting that the Junior class won the contest. Anders also reported that the updating and rewiring of the old computer lab was complete, making it a safer environment for students.

"This year," Anders said, "in conjunction with the election year, the Senior Government class held its own election to teach students the election process." They elected a candidate for two parties. The candidate and committees had to develop a platform, design election posters and write advertisements. The candidates gave speeches, and participated in debates. The Sophomore and Junior class voted for their candidate and casts their votes on ballets patterned after Missoula County voting ballets. The Board joked, "Was a recount requested?"

Most Board members live and work in Missoula. They hold their meetings around the District so they can view first-hand the many facilities that they oversee. They come to Seeley Lake just once a year. Prior to the meeting the school staff and High School Advisory Committee served the Board a lasagna dinner in the Old Gym. This gave the Board the chance to meet the Advisory Committee and see for themselves the needs of the school including the pressing matter of more classroom space and the much needed renovation on the gym where "volleyballs go through the ceiling and disappear."

The passage of the school bond issue last year provided the necessary eight hundred thousand dollars for both projects. Gary Bochek, Director of Operations and Maintenance of Missoula County Schools outlined the classroom space issue. He used architectural designs showing the placement of the new Resource Center on the High School campus. The Center will be located behind the old gym with access to the Center from the school lobby. During non-school hours it will be accessed from the north entrance to the lobby. "We felt the best place for it was behind the existing library in front of the new gym," Bochek said, "but due to utility requirements and existing restroom placement the site behind the old gym worked best."

The Center will house the library with computer access and a small conference room. This will free up the room now used for the computer lab, which is actually a windowless storage room (The Dungeon), and will allow the existing library to be divided into two large classrooms or three smaller classrooms. William (Rett) Parker, the Board Member from Seeley Lake said, "We are pleased with the designs," and that he is "anxious to see them completed."

The gym renovations will take care of lighting problems, update the locker rooms and add restrooms for the disabled. The gym floor and ceiling will be replaced. The gym should be completed next summer. The Resource Room will take a bit longer and should be done sometime mid-winter of next year. Designs are available at the High School and comments on the Resource Center or the gym can be filed in the Seeley-Swan High School Office or Library.

In closing comments Mary Vagner, School Superintendent thanked the School Staff and the Advisory Committee for the lasagna dinner saying that Seeley Lake has a "vibrant staff," which is remarkable considering that they have had an "almost complete turn over in recent years." She added, "It is great seeing how they [the staff members] have pulled together to help the students."

Vagner thanked the community for passing the bond issue and said she was looking forward to seeing the work begin on the school. She urged parents and community members to stay in contact with the state representatives concerning the need for continued funding of school budgets and programs.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30.

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