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High School Locker Room Replacements Essential from Prop S, Says Eureka Student

Eureka High School locker rooms needed a $1.6 million renovation, as outlined a year ago in Proposition R. The locker rooms still need replacing, says a student currently using them, who asks for support of this year's proposition on the April ball

Nate Echard, a senior student from Eureka, addressed Rockwood School District Board of Education directors and attendees Thursday evening, saying he wanted to share a firsthand account of the inferior condition of Eureka High School locker rooms. He said he felt it was important that people hear a student's side of Proposition S.

"The (guys) locker room is so congested, teams really have a hard time getting to practices on time. And we hit our heads on lockers. No one wants to deal with that," said the local athlete.

The substandard situations also affect students just needing to use the locker room to take physical education classes, said Echard. "Everyone's pushed to buy a lock, but can't have a locker for a whole day. So they end up having to take their stuff around with them all day (instead of having a locker to put it in)."

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

"When we travel to other schools, we see their locker rooms, and say this is something nice, if we had this," said Echard.

"It's almost essential to have better locker rooms, ones that are more up-to-date. Students deserve it, considering the small size. I’m not going to get it, because I'm a senior. But I have a younger brother and friends who would benefit from a better locker room."

Staph infections, safety code violations and lack of meeting U.S. public accommodation requirements plague the high school's locker rooms, which needed a $1.6 million renovation, per Patch's reporting last January: Eureka High Locker Rooms are High on Concern List

Last year, Tom Mueller, a Eureka High parent who lives in Wildwood, addressed the Rockwood School District Board of Education directors at the January board 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.

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

Editor's Note:  Replacing Eureka High locker rooms to accommodate usage and meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements is one of the stated projects listed under the proposed Proposition S, under the facilities' subcategory of $21,532,000 within the $38.4 million bond issue in April.

Mary March 12, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I wonder which academic programs throughout the RSD get short-changed because of the expense of running the sports programs. That said, if the BOE hadn't overpaid an estimated $1.2 million in other (IMO, unnecessary) construction costs, the Eureka HS locker rooms could've been revamped.
EHS Dad March 12, 2013 at 03:18 PM
As a father of one child who has graduated from EHS and two who are currently enrolled, I can confidently say that the academic programs in the RSD are simply TOP NOTCH and have NOT been negatively affected by any sports program. Yes, I agree that better choices should have been made regarding past expenditures, but make those responsible pay that price, not our students. I will vote YES on Prop S because it's the right thing to do. Invest in our children, make them safe, don't punish them for the errors of others.
EHS mother March 12, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Every young man uses the locker rooms at EHS, not just the athletes.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM
The girls' locker room users also face the same challenges, with three groups sometimes having to try to change clothes all at the same time.
David Miller March 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Locker rooms not updated since "1983"?? $1.2 million spent unwisely with Glenn Construction?! $16 million slush fund above what they're required to maintain?! So why haven't they updated the locker rooms in the past? This is all about poor leadership and exceptionally poor fiscal responsibility. They had the means and money to update the EHS locker room in the past and they chose not to. I'm voting NO on Prop S -- they have the money, why haven't they acted?
Barbara A Combs March 20, 2013 at 01:35 PM
David Miller, always the past you are bringing up. It's over, learn from it and move on. You as a doctor should be very concerned about staph infections. I'm with EHS dad and EHS Mother. Pass Prop S.
David Miller March 20, 2013 at 09:26 PM
You are correct, Ms. Combs, as a practicing physician I am always concerned for communicable diseases and limiting their spread -- especially now that I have a son on a sports team at Lafayette. What really gets me mad is that RSD has known about this issue for over a decade and has chosen to not address it -- heck, I believe they built a very nice concession stand and welcome center at Eureka High School instead of addressing this pressing public health issue. And they have the money to address it RIGHT NOW but choose not to. This is about continued poor leadership and exceptionally poor fiscal responsibility and management -- the failure of Prop S will finally force the School Board to act responsibly with OUR money. The Board is COUNTING on you to not look backwards and blindly continue forward. Remember that quote about always repeating your mistakes if you don't learn from history -- RSD's continuing mistakes are hurting our kids NOW. Can you imagine the number of staph infections that would NOT of happened if this issue had been addressed adequately in the past? Remember, they have the money to fix this NOW but chose not to -- instead they're using it as a PR trick to pull at your heartstrings to get Prop S passed. Why hold the kids hostage with the needed passage of Prop S when they have the money to fix the EHS lockerroom issue immediately right NOW ($16 million slush fund available)? Surely, you've got to be asking yourself that.
Eileen Tyrrell March 21, 2013 at 07:13 PM
David, very well stated. The entire situation is indefensible.
Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions March 21, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions is committed working with district officials in persuading them to use the excess funds, to take care of the EHS locker rooms, pool and elementary kitchens.
Barbara A Combs March 21, 2013 at 07:37 PM
No I'm not asking myself that. And I'm done debating with you. You are not about to change your mind and neither am I.
Barbara A Combs March 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM
To become a member, volunteer and/or advocate, please contact us at rsdstakeholders@gmail.com or visit our blog at www.rsdstakeholders.org. All names and email addresses will remain CONFIDENTIAL! I copied this statement from the Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions website. WHY, when transparency is paramount to Rockwood Stakeholdger for Real Solutions would a list of members be confidential? Who can be a member? The site states: Stakeholder: any parent, grandparent, taxpayer and business owner, living and/or involved in the Rockwood School District Community. So are all members taxpayers (excluding the students)?

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