uring a meeting last Wednesday, the West Platte Board of Education approved a resolution accepting a $1 million grant offer from Platte County to be used for the acquisition and improvement of park land and recreational opportunities.
According to West Platte Superintendent Kyle Stephenson, the grant will have three divisions – immediate needs, short term needs, and long term goals.
The board of education has tentatively approved a list of immediate needs to receive approximately $40,000 of grant money. These include cardiovascular exercise equipment and flooring for West Platte’s new weight-training facility, to be located on the second floor of a new addition currently under construction in the back southwest corner of the school building. West Platte will make the weight-training room available for public use three evenings a week.
A multi-purpose community room on the lower floor of the addition will receive tables and chairs from the grant.
“The new room will hold around 200 people, by far the biggest room in Weston,” Stephenson said. “I think the community will get a lot of use out of it.” Stephenson plans on the community room and weight training facility being complete and open to the public by Labor Day.
As far as long term goals, the school board has “just begun” to look at the possibility of teaming with the county to purchase and develop park land.
Similar to what the commission has proposed in the city of Platte City, a portion of the grant money would go toward the acquisition of park land, to be owned by the county. After the purchase of land was complete, the school district would have the task of developing and maintaining the land.
No land has been singled out for acquisition and no time line has been set for the project, according to 2nd District Commissioner Steve Wegner, who attended the meeting.
The school board discussed the possibility of one day building a new school building adjacent to the park site, wherever it may be.
“That would be in the future, way down the line,” Stephenson said. “With our growth, we don’t have to build a new school every day like Platte City,” he said, “but it would be an option in the future.”
Wegner stressed that no county money would be used for a new school building.
“Absolutely no money of the park and rec’s would go into the acquisition of property for a school building,” he stated. “That would be funded strictly by the West Platte School District.”