A familiar landmark at Hugh Schilling Field in Britton will remain – at least for now.
The Britton-Hecla Board of Education had decided to demolish the old gymnasium and had called for bids to do the job. But at its regular meeting Monday night, the board reconsidered after hearing appeals from a pair of Kidder alumni.
Kidder graduates Jim Eye and Maynard Bosse spoke to the board and presented a cost scenario to support their case for not demolishing the structure. The estimated cost to repair the shingles and roof was $40,000-$45,000. Cost of tearing down the building was estimated at about $25,000 with the cost of replacement of potential storage $10,000-$20,000. The Kidder alumni argued that the net cost to keep the building was $0-$10,000.
Britton-Hecla Superintendent Kevin Coles said that he had obtained the $36,000 quote for re-shingling the roof a year ago in March when the board was considering what to do with the building. He also said that the board had determined that current uses for the building, primarily storage, could be provided for in other ways.
“We knew there were some other things that also needed to be done, and at that time the board felt it was prohibitive to put that amount of money into the building,” Coles said.
But evidently the arguments presented by the Kidder alumni carried some weight. When a motion was made to accept the low bid of $18,200 from Tank Backhoe for demolition of the building, it failed by a 4-2 vote. Board members Daryl Lloyd and David Deutsch voted in favor, while Arlin Elsen, Cindy Olson, Kim Beck, and Roger Gresh voted against the motion with Mandy Carlson abstaining.
A second motion to reject all demolition bids was unanimously approved. Other bids included Caleb Wenz, $28,500; Carlson Crushing, $31,620; and Lien Transportations & Construction, $69,377.15.
Coles said the board did not indicate any plans for the building in the immediate future. It will be used for Relay For Life, as a football locker room, and for storage.
“What will happen now was left up in the air,” Coles said. “We have turned off the water in the building and don’t heat it, so it’s primarily used for cold storage.”
The board received one bid for the construction of an IT building in place of the current DX building on the north side of the school parking lot. It accepted a bid from David Kristofferson Construction of $116,739 for a 32x48x12 building. An option for a 40×60 building for $166,439 was also submitted,but the board opted for the smaller structure.