The Monett R-1 Board of Education finalized plans for improvements to facilities over the summer break at the May board meeting.
A bid package presented by architect Pam Haldiman, with Sapp Design Associates, was approved. A contract for $209,203 was awarded to Construction Services Group of Neosho.
Work will include completing renovations to the kitchen at Monett Elementary School; renovating the wrestling room at Monett High School to combine it with the weight room; installing new lighting and acoustical panels in the high school gym; and placing new lighting in the commons room at the high school.
Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said the commons room has been lit indirectly, shining lights onto the ceiling. New fixtures will shine lights both onto the floor and the ceiling. Replacing the fixtures after 15 years with high bay fluorescent lights will significantly improve efficiency and provide savings in both the commons and the gym.
The contract to replace lights at Burl Fowler Stadium was awarded to Musco Lighting, based in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The $210,000 project will include erecting four new poles to mount the lights. Other wiring on the current poles supply power for security, the pressbox and the field house will be placed underground.
The bid was arranged through a consortium. Jungmann said Musco has 80 percent of the national market for lighting. Work comes with a 25-year warranty, after which the firm will replace all the bulbs and relamp the system. Lights can be turned on or off from a computer or mobile phone.
Jungmann said Musco is the same firm under consideration for installing new lights at the North Park ballfields. Manufacturing has started on the new stadium lights. Jungmann said installation would take two weeks and should be done by mid-July.
Board members reviewed qualifications and proposals from architects for the planned storm shelters, as required for projects funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Sapp Design Associates was hired as the architect, engineer and project manager.
Arrangements were made to begin renovations on the city's gymnastics center once the school district closed on purchasing the facility this week. Bill Doss Construction will fill in the pits, install a locker room and fill in the windows. Monett Glass will install new metal commercial-grade doors that are half metal and half glass. An athletic carpet similar to artificial turf will be installed on the floor.
Problems have surfaced with the ground source heating and cooling system for the high school. Five years ago, Superintendent Dr. Charles Cudney addressed repairs that may have come from deteriorating pipes or faulty engineering. Jungmann said the problems have now recurred and may have a significant impact on the entire system.
The board asked Sapp to work with a Springfield engineering firm to study the extent of the problem and propose a resolution.
Plans to address the parking situation at Monett Middle School have been delayed for next summer. Jungmann said placing the project as a priority next summer will allow a more extensive and better funded undertaking.
The board filled the remaining certified teaching positions for the coming school year.
Two resignations were accepted. Matt Holt, who taught social studies at the high school, resigned to take the football coaching position at Pierce City. Brock Glidewell, vocal music teacher for grades seven to 12, resigned to take a position in Ozark, where he lives.
The board hired Catherine Eck to fill Holt's teaching position. Eck has six years of teaching experience, including service at Springfield Catholic and West Plains.
Christopher Brammer was hired as vocal music teacher. Brammer has taught at Glendale High School in Springfield for the last three years.
Aaron Obermann was hired as the welding technology instructor at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC). Obermann is a graduate of Monett's welding program and has worked for both City Utilities in Springfield and Missouri Gas Energy.
Katherine Smith, of Springfield, was hired as a part-time art instructor at the high school. Jungmann said the art program is rapidly expanding, requiring the addition of more staff.
LaShel Crouch, who has been working in Pierce City, was hired as a speech implementor.
Non-certified staff were rehired for coming year. One notable vacancy came from the resignation of Tracy Essary, who has maintained the database for the school district's technology department for several years. Jungmann said Essary will continue to consult for the district. Database duties will be filled by others already on staff.
The board entered into a partnership with the Clark Community Mental Health Center to create a new position of a social worker for the district. Like the school resource officer post, where the city and school district share costs, the district will pay $30,000 of the salary and the reaminder will come from Clark. The social worker will be based at Monett Elementary School and work for the district.
"The at-risk staff have asked for the addition of a social worker for several years, especially for students from kindergarten to sixth grade," Jungmann said. "Partnering with the Clark Center is a good place to start. It may be more beneficial using their expertise in staffing such a position. They will advertise and hire someone. A social worker will provide counseling and education for parents in families that are going underserved now."
The board also signed a one-year partnership with Crowder College for services at SWACC, where Crowder is expanding its class offerings. Jungmann said Crowder will help staff SWACC in the evenings to reduce some positions now funded by the district.