Scotia school looks at options for gym for students

School, state looking at options for former lumber company building

The Stanwood A. Murphy Elementary School in Scotia has completed a cost analysis which has been submitted to the state and will guide the decision on the future of the now school-owned and former Pacific Lumber Company recreation building. (Mary Bullwinkel — For the Times-Standard)
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The future of the former Pacific Lumber Company recreation center, now owned by the Stanwood A. Murphy Elementary School in Scotia, is likely to be determined by a cost-benefit analysis recently completed.

Siskiyou Design Group, based in Yreka, conducted the study over the past several months. The firm has studied and developed proposals for other local school projects at South Fork High School and Triple Junction High School.

“The cost-benefit analysis is completed and being sent to the state now,” Stanwood A. Murphy Elementary School Principal Amy Gossien said.

“I’m not sure how long it will take to get their feedback,” she added, “but the gym is considered a health and safety project, so it goes to the top of the list for state approvals.”

The study will be reviewed by the state Office of Public Schools Construction, which has in previous years, awarded funding for this project, but not at a financial level that would cover all the costs. Previous reports on the condition of the building were not fully comprehensive and inclusive of some of the issues that must be addressed and replaced or repaired.

Gossien explained that after multiple offers of funding, with none of them being enough, the school decided last year to go a different route.

“The School Board and District representatives met with the state Office of Public Schools Construction,” she said. “Their representatives are guiding us in this process and are being extremely helpful. They have been involved in this project since the beginning.”

The cost-benefit analysis and decisions from the state will guide the school’s decision-making on the future of the former recreation building.

“Once the district knows what we qualify for, we will move forward with either renovation or rebuilding,” Gossien said.

The recreation center became the property of the school in 2008. Around the same time, the school purchased its nearby elementary school building and campus from the Pacific Lumber Company. The recreation facility was still operating when the school purchased it, but that ended five years later, when the steam heat that had served both the gym and the school (from the power plant in Scotia) was cut off.

Hardship funds from the state of California were received to replace the heating system in the school itself as well as the recreation building. A new heating system was installed in the school, but with the former recreation facility building not being Field Act compliant, no funds could be spent on that project until plans were developed to upgrade specific health and safety issues including electrical, plumbing, ADA requirements, fire safety and earthquake safety. The recreation building has been closed since then.

If the decision is to remodel the existing building, which was constructed in 1959, all interior and exterior finishes, including the ceiling will have to be removed to make it Field Act and ADA compliant.

If the decision is to rebuild the facility, the current building would be demolished and a new gymnasium structure would be built at the same location.

“In either scenario, the racquetball courts and weight room are not included,” Gossien said. “(And) as most realize, the pool will be too expensive for our district to maintain. The ultimate and most important district goal is to provide our students a gymnasium,” she said.

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