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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

R-1 issue is topic of Kiwanis meeting

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Details about the $4.5 million bond issue going before Monett School District voters on April 6 were shared by Monett School Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann at last week's meeting of the Monett Kiwanis Club.

Jungmann said the proposed renovations and new construction at Monett Elementary School are planned to improve safety and security on campus, as well as create a more effective and efficient learning environment for students.

In addition to the nine buildings and 50 entrances on the campus, Jungmann said Monett Elementary lacks a comprehensive fire alarm system. The current shelter arrangement for storms in classrooms is also less than desirable. Both would improve with the proposed plan that would consolidate buildings in new construction.

Approximately six times a day children transition between classrooms, rain or shine, Jungmann said. Trips take longer when students bundle up to walk across campus.

Enclosing classrooms from the weather will add as much as 50 hours for learning per student now lost in the moving process. Jungmann said there would be additional heating and cooling savings from adding hallways around rooms that now open to the outdoors.

Plans call for further gains to be made by installing more efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems. A renovated library/media center would offer the newest technology. New restrooms would be installed throughout the campus. New kindergarten rooms would meet state size standards. Improved traffic flow would also help in efficiency and safety in picking up and dropping off students.

Jungmann had drawings from Sapp Design Associates on display to show how the campus layout would change. The most dramatic change would shift the main entrance to Learning Lane on the north end of the campus instead of Linden Avenue on the east side. Jungmann explained how the office would move to the new main entrance and how the traffic flow would alter.

The full vision for improvements at the campus will cost up to $8 million, Jungmann said. Work on other buildings, like the kindgarten and early childhood buildings, would be phased in over time. The district would be able to get more done by adding a lease purchase for up to $2.5 million more once the current lease purchase on the high school is paid off. Another $1.4 million in funds set aside for capital projects will also be committed, Jungmann said.

Advantages for acting at the present time include the opportunity to take advantage of no-interest or low-interest Qualified School Construction Bonds available through the federal stimulus package and currently competitive construction costs. The district may also use Qualified Zone Academy (QZAB) Bonds through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The district's proposal also represents no tax increase, thanks to the retirement of bonds from past construction projects. Thus the district's 56-cent per $100 of assessed property will stay unchanged.

"High quality school facilities help retain and attract students and families to our community and help maintain high property values," Jungmann said.

The proposal is called Proposition CUBS (Citizens United for Better Schools) and is being promoted through public meetings and private efforts. Jungmann said questions could be directed to him at 235-7422 or via e-mail at jjungmann@monett.k12.mo.us.

The Monett Kiwanis Club meets at noon on Tuesdays for a meal and a program.

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