Discussions on a proposed multipurpose athletic facility at Calallen High School led to talks of cutting back on the size of an indoor practice field in order to accommodate the construction of an eight-lane swimming pool.
Trustees listened as Tom Ferrell, of Ferrell/Brown & Associates Inc., gave a presentation on two alternate proposals for the facility that range in price from $3.1 million to $3.4 million. Option A is a 64,000-square-foot facility that houses an indoor practice facility that can be utilized by band, baseball or football teams.
There is also a multi-purpose room that can be used for cheerleading or drill team practice, as well as men's and women's dressing rooms. An exercise room is also part of the preliminary design, along with a daycare center.
An eight-lane swimming pool with a maximum depth of eight feet is also included, and includes amenities for diving. Option A has an estimated cost of $3.4 million.
Option B is a 58,400-square-foot facility that also contains the indoor practice facility, though it does not include an exercise room. Instead, a larger multipurpose room is included in the design, as well as men's and women's dressing rooms.
The pool, however, is scaled back, from an eight-lane to a six-lane design that is seven feet deep. The diving amenities are also not present and have been removed from the "bare bones" design, Ferrell said, in the interest of lowering costs.
Trustee Jim Callis said he would like to see the facility constructed for basic practices that do not require raised ceilings. Building a higher roof just so football players can throw high passes or baseball players can have batting practice was not in the facility's original design, he said. Doing so would only cost the district and its taxpayers more money than is necessary, he added.
"We have an obligation to the public…for financial responsibilities and core issues," Callis said, adding that he would like to see a lower roof for the practice facility in order to raise the possibility of building a better aquatic center.
"If we can lower the roof and lower the costs, great," Callis said. "Getting back to the aquatic center, I personally would like to see a larger, full-scale facility if we can afford it. If we can't, then we're going to have to tailor it down. It's just that simple."
The facility, at the moment, is estimated to cost more than the $2.3 million the district had originally budgeted for as part of the district's 2007 bond election. During the last three meetings on the subject of the athletic facility, trustees have received price estimates up to $4.5 million.
District staff has looked at facilities in San Antonio, Rosenberg and Corpus Christi, Ferrell said, and helped to comprise plans for a facility big enough to allow for a swimming pool and practice fields football, baseball and band.
Trustees suggested shortening the practice field, which alone costs $1 million, by 10 yards in order to give more room to the aquatic center, but superintendent Arturo Almendarez said doing so would affect the students in band who need a large area to practice their marching routines on.
"I am totally against shortening this field," Almendarez said.
Trustees did not take action on the item, opting instead to table it until a scheduled meeting on Monday. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the CISD Administration Building, located at 4205 Wildcat Drive.