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Trustees discuss Kirkman use
Executive session held for personnel matter
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The Barton Community College Board of Trustees discussed “several personnel matters” during a special meeting held Thursday afternoon, board chairman Mike Johnson said.
The discussion took place during a 30-minute executive session – closed to the public to protect the privacy of the employee(s) being discussed. It was attended by trustees Johnson, Mike Minton, Don Learned and John Moshier; Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman; and the board’s attorney, Randy Henry, who joined the trustees via conference telephone call.
No action was taken and the meeting adjourned.
Thursday was also the date of the board’s November study session – a meeting where no action is taken but members learn about items that may appear on the agenda of the business meeting.
During the study session, Athletic Director Trevor Rolfs said the college has received some generous donations for improvements to the Physical Education Building gym and the Kirkman Student Activity Center. He was asked to share his thoughts on the new layout for the Kirkman Center, which is targeted for capital improvements. In July, as trustees worked on the budget, they agreed to spent $1.6 million on campus-wide improvements. These included replacing the Kirkman practice floor  with a wood and rubber surface (estimated cost, $185,000); repairing its north and west walls to foundation/brick ($120,000); and remodeling the athletic office complex ($100,000).
Rolfs said the practice gym floor is currently what is known as a “sport court,” suitable for volleyball but not for basketball and all of the other sports that have been practiced. Wood floors are best for basketball, he said, recommending a multipurpose floor for one-third of the gym, with wood in the center. A three-lane track will surround the floor.
“The floor is dangerous,” Rolfs told trustees, showing photos of holes, seams and buckled tiles. “It’s deteriorated to the point it is unsafe and not playable.”
In the past, athletes have practiced javelin and hammer throwing in the building, and used it for batting practice, but a lot of damage has been done by “outside entities,” Rolfs said. These are individuals who have used the center without supervision, and torn up the walls and vinyl divider curtains. Balls have been thrown and kicked into walls and curtains, causing holes and dents.
“We need to have a thorough review of the entire process (for using the gym),” Johnson said. “I’m not opposed to the community using it.”
“It’s gotten out of hand in terms of lack of supervision and monitoring,” Heilman said. There may need to be user fees, to pay for the supervision, or access to the building may become more limited.
Rolfs agreed that public use is encouraged, and said the building has become a sort of “community YMCA.” But he said the Kirkman Center should also be a showcase and needs better care after upcoming renovations, and that may mean restrictions. “At the end of the day, we’re never going to make everybody happy.”
Trustee Minton questioned the plan for a floor of wood and another surface, although  a donor may provide money for the wooden portion. “I want to make sure there isn’t another alternative,” he said.