HANSEN — With fewer than 400 students, it’s rare for the small-town Hansen School District to get a large donation.
But this fall, school officials found out a private family will donate $1 million to the school district. They asked for it to be used to build a community gymnasium, which will also be used by school groups.
With only two school gyms in Hansen and a demand for recreational space, school leaders say the project will have a huge impact.
“Even with having two facilities here, we’re finding we’re frequently short,” said Kristin Beck, superintendent of the Hansen School District. “There’s not enough space for all activities going on.”
The school district has put out a request for proposals for a design-build team for the project. Hansen’s school board will make a decision during a Feb. 15 meeting.
The gym will be built on the corner of Walnut Avenue and Rock Creek Road. The school district is aiming to finish construction in December.
“That certainly isn’t firm,” Beck said. “It will depend on who submits proposals for it.”
The project will be funded entirely by the $1 million donation, she said, and the school district is aiming to avoid dipping into its own budget. “We were just overall really excited and feeling very fortunate that they wanted to make that donation to the Hansen School District.”
The school district hopes to eventually build onto the gym for its own programs.
The district is still discussing the donation and the city hasn’t received information about the project, Hansen city manager Adolfo Arrendondo said. But the city would like details, he said, because it will affect services such as water and sewer.
A community gym will be good for children, Arrendondo said, and will give them somewhere to go after school. “It’s good recreation for the kids and it keeps them off the streets here.”