GERING — There will be a fresh new look in the auditorium at Gering High School later this year.

Under plans approved by the Gering School Board Monday, the 750 seats in the auditorium will be replaced at a cost of $122,765. The board also approved a bid for $79,000 to resurface the track at the school.

With a 90-day anticipated delivery for the new seats, Gering Public Schools Director of Business Services Tim Meisner said the work should be done around Thanksgiving.

“Our hope is we can have all the new auditorium seats in and all the finishing work that we want to do, new carpet, before the Christmas plays, the holiday plays that all the elementary schools come up to the high school for,” Meisner said.

The existing seats are showing their age and are in need of replacement, Meisner said.

“Those auditorium seats I believe are probably from when the school was originally constructed,” he said. “I don’t know that they’ve ever been replaced, so we have a lot of seats that are broken, the springs aren’t good. It will make sitting in the auditorium for our performances so much more comfortable. ... People that go to a lot of events in the auditorium will be very excited to have new seating.”

The practice track at the school will be resurfaced, likely in October, depending on scheduling availability and weather. The resurface will be a fix for now, but Meisner said the track eventually will need to be replaced entirely when the budget allows.

“They’ll basically resurface those lanes so our kids can now use them,” Meisner said. “The track was getting in pretty bad shape. It was going to be rough to practice on this year if we didn’t do this. This will be a huge upgrade for our kids.”

Work is expected to begin in October and will likely be completed over a weekend to prevent disruption to football practices. The schedule depends on availability and weather conditions.

“What they’ll probably do is start it on a Thursday, and we’ll have our walk-through practice down at the football stadium anyway,” Meisner said. “They have to time it, looking ahead with the weather to make sure it’s going to be good weather for that weekend that they come to do it.”

Eventually, the goal is to raise enough money to replace the whole track and add seating, but that would likely carry a price tag of upwards of $1 million. That project will be addressed on the district’s five- and 10-year plans. By replacing track and adding seating, Gering would have the ability to host track meets where it doesn’t have that capability now.

mark.mccarthy@starherald.com

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at mark.mccarthy@starherald.com.

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