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State nixes auditorium; also 'no' on High Plains buy

Jun 30, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Riverton schools superintendent Terry Snyder said School District has lost its opportunity to purchase the vacated High Plains Power building on West Main Street and also received bad news relative to the district's hope of constructing an auditorium and a wrestling facility at Riverton High School.

The news was shared with the Riverton school board during its regular meeting.

Snyder said the district's intent was to secure the High Plains Power building to become the district's maintenance facility, now is housed in what used to be the band room on the second floor of the old Riverton High School and in a maintenance shed north of the school administration building.

Two appraisals were required in order for the district to have the purchase considered by the Wyoming School Facilities Commission. Snyder told the board that the district had one appraisal, but that it would be at least two months before a second appraisal could be secured.

"I met with the High Plains board of directors on Monday and explained the process. I tried to be very up front with them.

"They ended up with an offer on the building, and I received a call today indicating that they had accepted that offer. That is unfortunate for us," Snyder said.

Snyder added that the district became a client for the building when a modular classroom was added to Rendezvous School and additional parking, which would have been located where the maintenance shed is today, needed to be secured.

"This creates a parking shortage," Snyder said.

Snyder, who participated in the school board meeting by telephone, was in Cheyenne where he learned earlier in the day that a select committee on school facilities rejected Riverton's pitch for a high school auditorium and multi-purpose wrestling area.

"I would say they very adamantly said no to that request," Snyder said.

Snyder said he plans to continue to explore options and that there still may be a glimmer of hope for the two projects at Riverton High School.

"We're not giving up. The general consensus from the select committee was that it is a function of the school district to build that auditorium through bonds or other means given the fact that we are not building a high school. That was very disappointing," Snyder said.

Snyder said that the district has more research to do, but he thinks that safety issues ultimately might play to Riverton's favor relative to a wrestling facility.

Board chairman Mark Stone said it was unfortunate that the select committee chose to not support Riverton's requests.

"But at least we tried," Stone said.