The Monett R-1 Board of Education has decided to upgrade a new addition to the high school to provide expanded storm shelter capacity.
During its December meeting, board members looked at initial cost projections to build a 3,200-square-foot addition to the wrestling room on the north side of the high school gym.
Sapp Design Associates determined the addition was feasible and received authorization to begin design work. The project will include converting the present wrestling room into an expanded fitness room.
Board members asked the architects to explore strengthening the new addition under standards set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to withstand an F-3 tornado. The projected additional cost was $15 to $20 per square foot.
"We think the cost is affordable and a reasonable cost considering the protection it can provide," said Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann.
Board members asked Sapp to price additional projects. These included upgrading the lighting in the high school commons and making acoustic improvements in the high school gym. The installation of partitions in the ceiling of the new gym at Monett Elementary School made "an incredible improvement," according to Jungmann. He hoped something similar could help the high school.
In addition, Jungmann said the board would like to add a new lighted sign along Cleveland at the high school to provide a digital announcement of upcoming events. The project may go to bid in the spring.
At Monett Elementary School, the board asked Sapp to develop a plan for upgrading the school kitchen for work this summer.
Vaughn Dirtworks won the contract for removing the former preschool building next to the old office. The building has mastic asbestos in glue for the flooring that would require taking the concrete to a landfill. Danny Vaughn expected to remove the structure over the Christmas break.
Bids were sought on the house purchased at 615 Ninth St. The district is asking for proposals to either buy and move the house, disassemble it piece meal for material salvage or demolish the house and haul it away. Vaughn Dirtworks had the lowest of two bids. Jungmann expected the house would be removed in the next 30 days.
Jungmann said the district should close on the purchase of the two properties west of Monett Middle School on Ninth Street during the first week of January. Similar bids will be sought for both buildings.
Jungmann reported the new canopy at Central Park Elementary School has gone into use. Wrapping around the poles and the addition of lettering should be finished in the next 30 days.
SWACC home project
Sale of the last house built by the construction technology class at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC), which was moved to Eighth and Scott streets, is expected on Dec. 27.
Board members voted to buy property at Third and Birch streets. The next two houses built by SWACC students will be placed there. Jungmann said the location provides "a relatively straight shot" from SWACC, heading west on Cleveland to Third Street to Birch. The design of the houses has also changed slightly to make the buildings easier to move.
New school calendar
Board members voted to adopt the calendar for the 2012-13 school year. The schedule follows the current year, with classes beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, and breaking for Christmas after Friday, Dec. 21. Classes will resume on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Not counting snow days, school would let out on May 22, 2013.
The only significant change, Jungmann said, would come in scheduling professional development days for teachers. Teachers are presently having collaboration time with colleagues after the regular school day, staying until 5 or 6 p.m.
Special development days will be worked back into the regular school day routine once a month, when students will not attend classes. There will be nine days during the year for collaboration, instead of the six in the current schedule.
Another change will reduce the school year to the state required 174 school days. The district had slated 175 days under requirements for accreditation under the North Central program. Since dropping North Central except for the Career Center, which does not use the same criteria, the extra day was no longer necessary, Jungmann said.
Preparations have been made for rolling out laptop computers for each Monett High School student on Jan. 3, 2012.
A test was run on the broadband width and adjustments made. Each student then checked out a computer in a classroom and turned them on to make sure the server and broadband system could handle the load.
Assistant Principal Brad Hanson briefed board members on a new service offered by the district on-line. Parents will be able to add money to their children's meal account over the Internet rather than send money to school with the student.
The food service vendor Opaa has hired Janie White as its new director in Monett, succeeding Patsy DuPlessis. White worked for the past year for Opaa at the McDonald County district.
The board hired two student teachers to full-time positions. Both have filled in for teachers who have left. Kaylie Meeks, a Monett High School graduate, is taking a fourth grade teaching post. Chris Lee is taking the first grade class she has been teaching. Both are Missouri State University graduates.
The board also hired Ronda Davidson as a part-time speech implementor. Davidson worked last year for the Aurora School District.
The next board meeting will be on Jan. 19, 2012.