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Eureka High Locker Rooms are High on Concern List

Staph infections, safety code violations and lack of meeting U.S. public accommodation requirements plague the high school's locker rooms, which need a $1.6 million renovation. They are on Proposition R list.

locker rooms are 40 years old, according to Rockwood School District records, and are in sad physical shape. To make matters worse, these locker rooms were built when the number of students was less than half of its current enrollment.

Cramped conditions, which also do not meet state safety codes nor Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requirements, are suspected to have contributed to the frequent number of staph infections experienced by the high school's athletes and students using workout rooms for health classes.

Replacement costs of the locker rooms at this high school are estimated at $1.6 million, according to Dennis Griffith, Rockwood assistant superintendent for administrative services. The locker rooms are included in the .

Tom Mueller, a Eureka High parent who lives in , addressed the board of education directors at the Jan. 5 meeting to ask for two improvements at the school: new locker rooms and replacing the school's swimming pool.

"I'm asking for equity in facilities across the district's high schools," he said. "This also is a function of health and safety."

Mueller said he believed changes in the boys' locker room haven't occurred since 1983 when the school only had 65 usable lockers. He pointed out there are 165 students alone in the football program who have to share the locker space.

Theft is also a consideration of tight spaces of this kind, he said.

"At Eureka, we have staph infections four to five times more frequently compared to every one case at other schools," he said.

and Rockwood Summit High got new locker rooms, despite those rooms being 10 years younger than the Eureka ones, cited Mueller.

Board of education director Keith Kinder, a former Eureka High principal, said the same number of lockers existed when the school had 900 students; now with almost 2,000, the locker rooms haven’t been improved.

"I keep hearing stories about problems at Eureka, and about what one school gets, and what another gets. Eureka's locker rooms are definitely a problem. They are a safety issue. This is not a fluff item; it’s a necessity item," he said.

Mueller said Eureka also should be considered for a replacement swimming pool, especially because the pools in the other Rockwood schools are eight lanes, compared to Eureka's six-lane setup. "We at Eureka really are down to four lanes, due to divers needing their space," he said.

That amounts to other Rockwood swimmers receiving 50 percent more practice, he said. "Our swimmers get kicked in the face," he said. "It's not safe or effective."

He said the other Rockwood schools have seating for four times more spectators in their pool area. "Our swimmers at Eureka also have breathing and asthma problems, due to the pool and space conditions. Some of our swimmers train year-round and they rotate among the various pools—they only have breathing problems at Eureka," said.

Mueller said Eureka was only one of a few high school pools left in Missouri at the size it is (25 yard versus 25 meters). "Our swimmers' strokes are a count off, because of this. Eureka swim athletes are at a distinct training and competition disadvange," he said.

Board of education president Janet Strate said the residual issues at Eureka High are due to a lack of funding through the years. "Why haven't the locker rooms been done before now? Because at one point, it was decision between the gym or an auditorium. School administrators decided to do the gym first. Then another theater was the priority," she said.

"We were in a huge growth pattern, but now that has slowed down. We've been focused on having enough classrooms. Locker rooms were a priority when Dr. (Jim) Wipke was there a year ago. When PE class students don’t have room to sit down, we're at the point where we have to do something. That does not meet ADA requirements."

Layla Azmi Goushey January 23, 2012 at 01:04 PM
A good reason to vote for Proposition R.
Colleen Krask January 23, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Woot! Woot! Tom Mueller!!!! These kids need this! Bring on Prop R!
Sharon Yancey January 23, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Way to go! This is a hugh concern for students, staff, and parents and is so needed!!!
Tracy Schumacher January 23, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Way to go Tom!! I, like many many others, have always wondered why EHS is last for improvements- every time. It's no wonder many athletes flock to the other schools. These improvements are LONG overdue!!!
Eileen Tyrrell January 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thank you Tom for bringing this issue to the forefront. Does raise a more compelling question and draws attention to the priorities of the past bond issues and where the monies were spent. With the safety and health concerns surrounding the EHS locker rooms and swimming facilities for a number of years now, it should have been TOP PRIORITY on past bond issues list; particularly before the ANY auditoriums, gyms, classrooms and new offices. Thank you Tom for stating the facts in the public forum.
Eileen Tyrrell January 23, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Tracy, EHS has had many, many improvements over the past several bond issues, however the health and safety problems of the locker rooms and pool facilities were not priority. According to Dennis Griffith, the locker room have "always been on the list", but something else has taken precedence. Really? Before health and safety? Thank you Tom!
Eileen Tyrrell January 23, 2012 at 05:18 PM
It has been needed for way too long. Whether Prop R passes or not, RSD will have to address this issue from a health and safety concern.
Colleen Krask January 23, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Really...... a Welcome Center was needed before this?????? I think not!! Shame on you RSD!! Get this done!
Eileen Tyrrell January 23, 2012 at 05:42 PM
RS for RS is very aware of the fact MANY voters will be sending a loud and clear message to the Rockwood Board of Education and district decision-makers by voting against Prop R. A Vote against Prop R is not about voting against "the kids". It is about getting the attention of those responsible for the financial and business practices of this district and holding them accountable, so "the kids" have safe and healthy school to attend. A perfect example of this is EHS having locker rooms and pool facility that are inadequate, unsafe and causing a health hazard; while other projects take precedence. GET INFORMED......GET INVOLVED.....GET OUT TO VOTE ON APRIL 3RD. Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions
ken diekmann January 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Make cuts in upper management staff first or you will never get my vote on April 3rd. I think its time to break up the current board. Bring in all new.
Lisa Hunt January 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Why would Rockwood School District put Central Office Conference Room Upgrades (BOE 8/19/10) for $32,407 or Rockwood Summit High School storage rooms (BOE 9/02/10) for $62,703.64 over our students safety?
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) January 23, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Over the weekend, I emailed Rockwood Assistant Superintendent Dennis Griffith about what alternative plans the district had for updating the Eureka High locker rooms, should Proposition R not pass this spring. He emailed back today: "We have no plans to address if Bond Issue does not pass."
Anonymous January 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Give me a break Dennis Griffith. You have to address safety issues whether the bond passes or not. Stop trying to bully people into believing otherwise. And we wonder why we have a bullying epidemic in our nation's schools? They learn from watching. Lamest response EVER.
Pam Lieber January 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM
That is VERY disturbing on more than 1 level Mr. Griffith!! Are you telling the stakeholders of this district that if the bond issue doesn't pass that this locker room will not be addressed?This is clearly a safety issue that you and your "bond committee" chose to ignore for years!Rockwood better stand up bond passing or not and correct this problem! MRSA staff can be deadly! Mr. Griffith, are you the only one who makes ALL decisions for the district right now?I think we are worse off than I even imagined under this new leadership!
Jan G. Jett January 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Fire 10 assistant adminstrators then you will have the money to fix up the locker rooms. They will not be missed, you will still have 10 pages of administrators who set around doing nothing for the kids. Vote no on prop.R.
Mark Schmiedeskamp January 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Ever heard of bleach! The swimmers are one stroke off? You have got to be kidding me! Prop R = Prop Ridiculous. Yo Griffith, the well is about dry.
Tom Mueller January 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Some information to help inform district voters: The district gets its money from TWO sources: Operating funds (mostly property taxes and state money) and Bonds. Operating funds pay for teachers, administrators, utilities, etc. Bond funds pay for upgrades and maintenance to facilities. It's not quite that clean-cut, but that's the simple way of putting it. None of any RSD bond issue money goes to teachers or administrators. It goes to capital improvements. Three of the four district high schools were built in the last 20 years....Eureka H.S. being the old school of the bunch. Yet money for past facility projects has been fairly evenly distributed among the four quadrants of the district. Distributing funds in that manner helps get voter support in all quadrants, but it doesn't address all of the district's most important NEEDS. Also...if you could borrow money to fix problems with your house and pay less than TWO PERCENT in interest, would that make good financial sense? Well, Rockwood pays less than 2% on it's debt...an unbelievable deal !
Chris Varner January 24, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Although a 25 yard pool is better for training over a 25 yard pool. I completely agree that Eureka needs a new pool and that it should be named after coach Wasson for all of her dedication.
Chris Varner January 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
"the swimmers are one stroke off" is a ridiculous claim but 25 yard pools are the norm in both college and high school swimming which shows how old this pool is. I used to swim at Eureka High School and went on to swim in college. The pool at Eureka is very outdated and needs to be updated. Period. With a school that has been growing so much a 6 lane pool is ridiculous for a 30 person team!
S Nelson January 24, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Shame on RSD. No changes sine 1983? Look at how many bond issues/how much money has passed over this time. Maybe Mr. Griffith can post for us all the expenditures & projects that took precedent over this much needed safety issue time and time again. One more great example of priority problems, lack of leadership, no accountability. Mrs. Strate: Hello, "lack of funding through the years?" Are you kidding me? The locker rooms just became a priority "a YEAR ago"? No room to sit down didn't happen overnight. What critical safety issue does the current construction at Crestview fix? Rockwood Administration, Board of Education, you should all be ashamed & totally embarrassed!
Tracy Schumacher January 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Let me correct myself since I was personally addressed. I should have specified "improvements that matter". Not fluff that makes no difference in the life and health of our students.
Eileen Tyrrell January 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Tracy: My sentiments exactly. Improvements which directly address the safety and health of the students.

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