Committee explores buildings and sports
The Community Advisory Committee met for the sixth
time on Wednesday, May 18, this time at Herkimer Junior-Senior High
PDF of the agenda)
The evening began with an optional tour to familiarize
committee members with the Herkimer facility and to help them envision
how the building could be used in a possible merger.
The first order of business was to look at the
committee's prime building use plan. (view
a PDF of the building use plan) Following up on work at previous
meetings where the members examined class sizes, building capacities,
and building layout, the group developed nine possible options for
using the districts' buildings in a merged district. The committee had
voted to reduce the nine options to four. These four choices will be
passed on the each district's leadership team (the superintendent and
other key school officials) for their review and comment.
The group then
settled down to tackle the evening’s big question—what opportunities
and challenges in athletics and co-curricular activities might exist
in a merged school district. Athletic directors, high school
principals, and district superintendents from each of the districts
were on hand to help answer questions related to the topic. (view
PDF of what is currently offered in each district)
Members asked guests a variety of questions
Have students expressed interest in a sport
that your school doesn’t offer? If so, why don’t you offer it?
Students would like to play lacrosse, but there are
few local schools offering it and we would have no competition. In
addition, it would draw athletes from other spring sports leaving those
without enough players.
What five sports could you envision adding if
the districts were merged?
Ice hockey, lacrosse, swimming, skiing, and
gymnastics. In addition to new sports we could expand our sports to
include full modified and junior varsity squads and possibly
How many students would there be in a combined
district? Where would we compete?
New York determines sports classes by the total
population of students in grades 10-12 (the potential number of
varsity athletes). A combined district would have 1196 students making
us a AA school. We could compete in any league that would accept us,
but in postseason play, we would compete against schools such as
Proctor, Rome Free Academy, and the larger Syracuse schools.
What athletic facilities does your school
Ilion—an extensive fitness center, college
regulation-sized gymnasium, second full-sized gymnasium, indoor track,
outdoor track, lighted football field, lighted soccer field, two
wrestling/multi-purpose rooms, baseball field, and tennis courts.
Frankfort-Schuyler—outdoor track, lighted soccer/football field,
baseball field, softball field, tennis courts, college
regulation-sized gymnasium, second full-sized gymnasium, weight room.
Herkimer—four soccer fields, baseball field, softball field, lighted
tennis courts, lighted tack, practice football field, three
gymnasiums, pool, fitness center, access to facilities at Herkimer
County Community College. Mohawk—fitness center, two gymnasiums,
lighted soccer/football field, lighted softball diamond, field hockey
field, modified fields, outdoor track.
Why are there so few clubs and co-curricular
activities for middle school/junior high students?
In the current configuration, it is difficult to
mix grades 7-8 with grades 9-12.
Brainstorming the pros and cons
The meeting then broke into three subcommittees
(program, finance, and operations) who brainstormed opportunities and
challenges of merging athletics and co-curricular activities. The
three groups reconvened to share their findings.
Following are the findings:
Upcoming meetings will address the major elements
of each district’s employee contracts and their related costs. The
group will also begin looking at long-term district finances.