School Board Briefed on Plan for Student Store at Columbia

CHS ASB Secretary/Treasure Carolyn LaBerge presents "Boomers Den" student store to the White Salmon Valley School Board.

The highlight of this month’s White Salmon Valley School Board meeting was a presentation from members of Columbia High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB).

The ASB, led by faculty adviser John Hallead, has been working for just over a year at putting together a student store.

CHS senior Carolyn LaBerge began the presentation by giving a brief background on what the ASB does.

“Our biggest event that we put together is homecoming week, from the student activities and dress up days to the dance,” said LaBerge.

The ASB is also in charge of the Lock-In event, student appreciation days and leadership training. Many of the students recommended to be part of the ASB are former leadership students trained by current ASB leaders.

LaBerge then shifted into the ASB’s pitch for “Boomers Den” — a student store that would sell Bruin gear and accessories, school supplies, morning and afternoon snacks, and concessions during baseball season.

“Boomers Den” would allow all students quick and easy access to items that may have been more restrictive or unavailable to them in the past.

For example, Bruin gear, or “swag“ such as shirts, hats and, hoodies would be available to purchase. The ASB has formed a relationship with the company Fan Cloth, a clothing design company that works with schools nationwide providing gear for student organizations to sell at fundraisers and other events.

“Right now, only student-athletes can get Bruin gear. Through the store, all students can get Bruin gear to sport all year and especially on the red and black day during homecoming,” said LaBerge.

The proposed location for “Boomers Den” will be the old press box/concession stand behind the baseball fields at CHS. The ASB had tried to negotiate with the CHS Booster Club for the indoor concession stand in C-Court but found no workable solution for sharing the space.

When asked by school board member Alan Reitz how they will handle the elements of rain and snow, the ASB readily answered.

“We have talked to the guys that plow the snow and asked if they can put the snow somewhere else rather than against the building. We also plan to have space heaters in the office and outside where folks will stand in line,” said LaBerge.

Another ambition the ASB has for “Boomers Den” is to serve breakfast and coffee to students in the morning. However, this would require students working in the store to get food handlers permits, an issue brought up by multiple school board members.

“The students would be required to get food handlers permits, but it wouldn’t be too difficult. The main issue would be cost, they may have to pay for it on their own, but it only costs about $10.00,” said Hallead.

One of the aspects of having a student store is that it would teach students real-world skills, such as accounting, bookkeeping, inventory, customer service, marketing, and advertising.

“The students working at the store will most likely be ASB students or students in the leadership program. A key thing we are looking at is students that demonstrate responsibility well,” said LaBerge.

LaBerge also noted that a faculty member will always be on hand, as well, to supervise. The students are also hoping to enlist the accounting teacher/Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) faculty to help with the bookkeeping.

The ASB will be holding a sponsor’s night on Dec. 6 inviting local businesses to come and hear their pitch and become a sponsor of “Boomers Den,” to help get it off the ground and ready to go by baseball season.

“Not only do we believe that this will be a great addition to our school as well as a skill-building opportunity, but we believe it will have a positive impact on the school’s culture and climate,” said LaBerge.

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