A new auxiliary gymnasium that would eliminate congestion for after-school sports activities is being considered by the Southwestern School Board.

Tom Scroggins, Southwestern Middle and High School athletic director, told the board Monday that the high school and elementary school gymnasiums and cafeterias are often booked so tight after school that practices for some teams don't start until after 7 p.m.

Scroggins said adding an auxiliary gym would allow him to adjust the practice schedules to make sure students are able to "be at home by 7 every night to do their homework."

"We have situations where we have sixth-graders in the gym at the same time as juniors and seniors," high school principal Jeffrey Bates said, "which means they're also in the locker room at the same time."

Scroggins spoke with two local companies before the meeting to ask for quotes for a pole barn structure that would serve as an auxiliary gym.

Gosman Inc, gave a quote for a 70-by-120 foot building, which would include one full-length basketball court and two bathrooms. Construction would cost $487,000. 

Graber Post Building Inc. did not offer a quote in time for the school board meeting, but Scroggins said he was told the cost for a building with two courts and bathrooms would run around $1 million. 

The board took the request under advisement.

Also at the meeting, representatives from K12 School Development gave a presentation on virtual charter schools.

The private group establishes charter school virtual academies with authorizing school districts. The group would establish a charter school board to oversee the schools. The non-profit board would have to follow the rules of all other public schools in Indiana.

Students who signed up for the virtual school would take classes online from anywhere in Indiana, but technically would be enrolled in school in Hanover.

Southwestern would earn five percent of revenue brought in by the virtual school, according to K12.

Southwestern would need to agree to a service agreement to proceed.

The group wants to establish two charters. A kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school, and a ninth-through 12th-grade school.

The virtual school board would be made up of community members, and school administration members would establish an office in Hanover.

The school board is considering the issue and will discuss it at the next school board meeting.

In other business:

• The district announced that next January, the elementary, middle and high school would implement a one-to-one initiative, meaning each student will have a computer to use for school work.

The middle and high school will use Chromebook laptops for students and teachers. 

At the elementary school, teachers will implement three different pilot programs, used by three different classrooms for three week periods, to determine which devices to implement school wide. 

"It's exciting news," Bates said. "We've been talking about this for a while, but nobody's come up with a firm plan and now we have a firm plan."

• Jason Watson, elementary school principal and safety officer, said the school is still waiting to receive grant money from the county for school resource officers. Watson also said that he will apply soon for the 2015 school safety matching grant from the state that the school was awarded this year.

• The board changed the dates for its April and May meetings. The April 28 meeting has been moved to April 29, and the May 19 meeting has been moved to May 20. Next month's meeting is scheduled for Feb. 18.