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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Focus should be on Jefferson Junior High gym, not elementary school

By Denise Boessen
February 7, 2013 | 9:48 a.m. CST

Does anyone on the City Council or in the Parks and Recreation Department have teenage kids? Actually, you could have kids in their mid-30s and still qualify. Have you never been to the Jeff Junior High "gym"?

Possibly, Columbia Public Schools has solved the "gym-stage" issue at this school, and I am unaware. But for them to think we need to put a gym out at an elementary school that does not yet exist seems ludicrous when you consider what is going on at Jeff Junior. We have 6-to-7-foot tall kids playing on a STAGE, the size of most people's living rooms, in actual Missouri State High School Activities Association scheduled games — both basketball and volleyball.

Is this not just the craziest thing you can think of? Even crazier is that it has been happening for decades. Better yet, if the "BIG" stage gym is occupied, then these kids get scheduled to use the "small" gym for activities. This gym appears to be an extra classroom with carpet and no windows.

What are you all thinking? This school is not going away. We are spending $1 million plus to put air conditioning in it over the summer. It will serve grades six through eight in 2013 and beyond. Why in the world would they not partner with this school for a gym?

Denise Boessen is the parent of a student in Columbia Public Schools.