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Make it official: RHSR00;auditorium a 'go'

Apr 23, 2020 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Rivertonschoolssuperintendent Terry Snyder has received a "$10 million document" from the State of Wyoming confirming the allocation of funding for a new auditorium at Riverton High School, a new wrestling room for the district, and the vacating of Tonkin Activities Center.

"It's official," Snyder said during a school board meeting last week.

The letter from Mel Muldrow, interim director of the Wyoming Construction Department, lists more than $1.8 million for design and construction for the TAC "remedy," as well as $8.2 million for design and construction of the RHS auditorium.

The funds will be available July 1 - after Snyder has retired from his post.He has announced his retirement, with Dr. Joanne Flanagan hired this week to replace.

"As much as I would love to get out and get requests for proposals for architects and design and get the process going, we can't," Snyder said. "We have to wait until that July 1 date to get that done.

"I was also hoping we could do visits to some other auditoriums and wrestling areas. We can't do that either."

The move out of TAC requires relocating the district wrestling space.

Snyder, who included the RHS auditorium and wrestling facility in his list of priorities for his final months on the job, said he will put together a "projected plan and timeline" for both projects in an effort to ensure the district is "ready to roll July 1."

"It's going to be a great thing for our kids and our community to have this construction done," Snyder said. "I really look forward to it."

'$10 million day'

Snyder recalled the meetings he attended last year with legislative committee members discussing the potential for state funding for both local projects.

At some point during the process, Snyder said, he realized the money, if approved, would add up to about $10 million.

"I wrote a little note," he said. "I wrote down, 'Wow, this could have been a $10 million day.' And I never dreamt it would be. But it is. It was."

The Tonkin property, which once comprised the bulk of Riverton High School, still is used for Wolverine Wrestling, a day reporting center for non-traditional students, and some state office buildings, stands adjacent to Tonkin Stadium, the home of RHS football for more than 70 years before the move to the current sports complex at the "new" Riverton High School.

The Tonkin gymnasium now used for wrestling also houses the only big performance space ever constructed in District 25, a massive stage on the west side of the gym floor.

The new auditorium will be built specifically for performance purposes.

-- Staff writer Clair McFarland

contributed to this report.

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