New facility has CG-B officials pondering whether to combine supervisory positions
While stressing that no changes are imminent, Cedar Grove-Belgium School District officials acknowledged last week that a merger is possible between the fitness center and the gym and swim program in the future.
The school board on Sept. 23 approved creating the fitness center position, which will be paid a stipend of $6,000 to oversee the center.
Supt. Jeanne Courneene met with gym and swim coordinator Patti Hinze last week to discuss the future of the program at Hinze’s request.
“This might be a great opportunity to combine into one position,” Courneene said on Sept. 23 before meeting with Hinze.
In an interview Tuesday, Courneene said discussions with Hinze were positive.
She declined to comment on merging the programs until all options are considered.
“This is new territory for our district,” Courneene said.
“I want to be certain both the fitness center and gym and swim programs have the level of supervision, planning and organization that is necessary.”
School board President Chad Hoopman said he could envision a merger, but added the board “doesn’t want to get too far ahead of itself.”
The gym and swim program is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays, allowing participants to use the gym and pool at the middle school for a fee.
The program also offers swimming lessons.
Courneene last week floated the idea of outsourcing the lessons to local YMCAs, though that was met with pause from some board members.
“I would strongly recommend maintaining the integrity of the swimming lessons we have now,” board member Dan Bruhn said. “My sons have gone through both the gym and swim and YMCA programs and the difference in interest is amazing.”
Hoopman said he would like to see a cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing the lessons, adding it would remove a significant revenue generator for the program.
“I’d have to get more information before we jump into that,” he said.
The fitness coordinator will be in charge of “planning, organizing, implementing and promoting tasks associated with the center,” Courneene said.
Hoopman added that there is interest within the community to add exercise, cardio and aerobic classes at the center.
The $1.4 million facility, which is expected to open at the end of October, will feature a multipurpose/wrestling room that can be used by physical education classes and a fitness center/weight area that will be open to the public when school is not in session.
After the center has been open for some time, Courneene said, the district may re-evaluate a possible merger of the programs.
“The gym and swim program and supervision will remain as it currently is,” she said. “Until then, a fitness coordinator is a very high need.”