Custer School to build $3 Million Gym

Originally published in the 7/28/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

CUSTER — Custer Public Schools is preparing to build a new gym after voters approved a $3 million bond in May.

“It will be very functional for a school this size,” said Superintendent Dr. David Perkins of the new gym. The new gym will be in a 14,070 square foot metal building attached to the west side of the existing school building.

Custer school district voters passed a bond in the May election to cover the costs of the gym and a few additional improvements. The vote came after a long educational process during which the school board tried to explain to voters why a new gym is so important the school and community.

Voters approved a $3 million bond, which will cover building a new gym, improving the physical plant and repairs to the existing gym, which will remain in use.

“The town has been divided over this for a long time,” Perkins said. But “the days of the gym were numbered” and they had to take steps, he said.

One major problem is that the gym’s foundation is sinking in spots, leaving the floor uneven and dome-shaped, he said. The sides have slumped as much as 5 inches in some places, he said.

The new gym will have a full-size basketball court with about 10 feet on each end. Perkins didn’t know the exact square footage of the existing gym, but it’s cramped.

“The end line is a foot, foot and a half off the end wall,” he said. The floor isn’t regulation size. People sitting on the bleachers find their knees in people’s backs.

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