Retired architect Jim Moore addressed members of the Pierce City R-6 Board of Education, presenting an alternate design to the proposed school renovation and building project that would allow for future growth.
Moore, who has volunteered his professional services on a number of local projects and who designed the district's master plan in the late 1990s, discussed the logistics of relocating the proposed vo-ag building to a site behind the school so that activity there "would not detract from the overall image of the district."
Moore also noted his proposed plan would allow for better usage of the property and future growth of the district with little disruption.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Richard Werner and James Rutledge, architects from the firm of Werner and Associates of Springfield. They disputed Moore's vision for the district, stating in their opinion, the ag shop on the front line of the district's footprint would not be a detraction.
"We are about 90 percent finished with the drawings," Rutledge said. ""If the board chooses to go with Mr. Moore's plan, that would cause a delay of several months and an additional expense of several hundred thousand dollars."
Rutledge said the move would require new soil borings as well as topography and geotechnical analysis before determining whether the building could be placed at the site Moore proposed.
"It would take two to three weeks to complete the tests and cause a delay of two to three months," Werner said. "It will be two different bids and two different contractors starting projects at different times."
"My biggest concern is that we have invested a lot of money in this plan, and I don't know if we have the money to go back," added board member Doug Chapman.
"The cost would be insurmountable to change at this point from the current plan," said Dr. Aaron Cornman, superintendent of the R-6 District.
Board members opted to stay on course with the district's current plan.
Board members then tackled the issue of brick facing for the building project.
Rutledge and Werner proposed making the building two-toned brick, tying in the new addition with the same colored brick at the ground level as the older buildings, but then changing brick color a few feet up to a lighter color.
The two-toned brick proposal has become a matter of contention over the course of several meetings. Board members finally decided to go with the two-toned color scheme but requested a darker brick for the upper portion of the building than the architects had submitted.
A roll call vote was taken on the matter with board members Kent Boursheski, Kenny O'Hara, Mike Ziebert, Doug Chapman and Jim Barchak approving the proposed two-toned color scheme. David Jones and Fred Slagle offered the only opposing votes.
Kristi Marion, Central Elementary principal, reported things were going well in the first few days of school. Enrollment for the elementary campus is currently at 363 students.
"We had some timing issues with breakfast that are being smoothed out," Marion said. "The only problem we are having now is parents wanting to pick up their children at dismissal and are not waiting for the school buses to clear the area."
Board members encouraged Marion to take whatever steps needed to prevent congestion and ensure student safety at the end of the school day.
Gayla DeGraffenreid, middle school principal, noted in her report that a stomach bug had hit the campus right out of the gate, but things were going well otherwise. Enrollment at the middle school is 172.
|Steve Garner, high school principal, reported classes getting off to a good start with no major problems. Enrollment at that campus is 205, but Garner said four or five more freshman had registered for classes and he would have a better number for student enrollment at the next board meeting.|
Cornman reported the company that hosted the district's website is now defunct, and the search is on for another provider.
Cornman told board members the federal government is requiring parents who pay for their children's meal service to match the amount the government pays for those on free and reduced lunch schedules. That will mean an increase in meal prices next year for parents who pay full price for the district's meal service.
"The prices should have been raised about a nickle for this year," Cornman said. "The district will go ahead and absorb that cost, but we will have to raise prices next year."
Cornman also requested board members consider hiring a service provider to bring in a drug and bomb detection dog on a regular basis. Cost of the service, which would include 14 scheduled visits and two unscheduled visits for special events, would be approximately $3,800.
Cornman said the company that provides the drug and bomb sniffing canines, Immediate Response Groups, of Ozark, guarantees to be on the scene within an hour in the event of a bomb threat.
"The staff does the searches," Cornman said. "It is discreet and not disruptive to classes or students."
All school property, vehicles parked on district property bags and backpacks would be subject to search.
Board members requested time to consider the matter and agreed to have the issue put on next month's agenda.