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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

R-1 Board views new plans for Monett Elementary School

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monett Elementary School, a spread-out mid-1960s campus that the R-1 Board of Education has targeted for construction to enhance security in modern times. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
New ideas for construction at Monett Elementary School emerged at the November meeting of the Monett R-1 Board of Education.

Pam Haldeman and Jim Stufflebeam from Sapp Design Associates returned with more details on how to modify the spread out campus and introduced a new idea board members liked. Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said three plans were on display.

Two plans tried to connect as many buildings as possible. Jungmann said. Although these approaches addressed security concerns, students still had to walk significant distances between major activities. The preferred approach took a bigger strategy.

"This one gives us a campus that can serve us for several decades," Jungmann said, "one that students and faculty can very much get excited about."

Architects expanded on their idea of moving the entrance from the east side of the school to the north side off Learning Lane. The entrance will open into a commons area, from which the majority of halls can be seen from one location.

A two-level approach is included, using the current cafeteria as ground level and the east classroom wing as the upper level. A lift will be installed for handicapped access between the two.

The new approach calls for more extensive construction at the entrance, including removing some of the old buildings, Jungmann said.

Building more classroom space into the hillside around the playground will require moving much of the current playground. The superintendent could see one large piece moving about 50 feet to the east. Pieces closer to the existing buildings may be relocated to the north as existing buildings are moved or renovated.

"We will continue to analyze the budget of the project," Jungmann said. "The scope has grown a bit. It may be a two-phase project now. We will bid it with alternates to see what we can afford.

"We will try to do the whole thing. We won't ask voters for a tax increase," Jungmann said. "The debt service may increase but not the levy. We will not ask for more than we're already getting. We'll look at other funding mechanisms and a lease purchase. The high school lease purchase runs out in four years. Maybe we can use some of that."

Getting direction from the board, the architects planned to detail the new approach and bring more specifics to the December meeting. Jungmann expected to have a very detailed plan to show to patrons as the April election approached.

On other facilities issues, Jungmann reported the additions onto the Southwest Area Career Center were nearly complete. Floors on the new classrooms were being waxed. The family and consumer science classroom would move over the Christmas holiday. Business classes would move over the summer to minimize disruption in those programs.

Students in the construction technology class were continuing to complete the interior of their new building, which will be their new classroom. Canopy construction between the high school and the Career Center is finished. Jungmann said he had not intended to cross the entire parking lot but will look at it again at a later date.

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