Plans for improvements and expansion of facilities in the Monett public schools were discussed by the R-1 Board of Education at its September meeting.
Board members talked about buildings and available resources during their fall retreat in September.
Facility needs for the next five years, especially how the storm shelter projects under consideration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), were considered. Enrollment projections were considered to see what changes might be needed with anticipated growth.
Hanson provided board members with a draft review of a potential five-year facility plan at the board's Oct. 22 meeting. The plan will be studied and revised for a couple months.
During the October meeting, architect Pam Haldiman, from Sapp Design Associates, showed the board her preliminary drawings for the shelters at the high school and middle school. Sapp had been awarded the bid for architectural services and project management.
Meetings had been held with the fine arts teachers at the high school about their needs in having a storm shelter combined with an auditorium that will serve as a fine arts center.
Hanson said since the teachers and board members visited other auditoriums while exploring the project, there was general consensus on the arrangement of the building. The teachers stressed they needed storage room, which the board discussed. Board members also wanted the lobby to fit in well with the existing campus.
"Once we're comfortable with the design, we'll try to put together a committee of citizens who are interested in the arts and see if they like what we have or have ideas on what we should do differently," Hanson said. "We don't want to have regrets or have to build on in another five years.
"This will be great for the Monett School District," Hanson said. "Students will be safer and they will have a place to display their talents for the arts in a way they never had before. And it will be great for the community. We are the beneficiary of this type of grant, which has the potential to make a $4 million facility for half the cost."
Two approaches were suggested for the shelter at the middle school, which will also serve the intermediate school. The building could be a no-frills box, built to FEMA standards that the district could develop at a later date, when more funds are available, or turned into a multi-purpose room that doubles as a cafeteria.
The architects met with principals Dr. Jay Apostol and Peg Bryan last week to gain their perspectives on the project. If the cafeteria option is used, Hanson said the present cafeteria would be converted into classrooms.
Accompanying Haldiman to the meeting was Dave Riley, with Colvin, Jones and Davis, the Springfield-based engineering firm hired to study the ground source heating and cooling system at the high school.
Riley reported nothing unexpected was found in reviewing the system. The wells remain intact and there is no need for more repairs or additions to the system. The main lines to the wells were in exceptional shape for a 16-year-old system.
The efficiency of the system, however, had fallen below desired levels. Riley recommended replacing the pumps, units and service lines from the mains.
Riley recommended installing a fluid cooler. One of the problems is that once the fluid gets too warm in the summer when demand is high, the system will not run. A fluid cooler would cost more than $50,000 plus installation.
Replacing the units and lines, adding the cooler and making upgrades put the overall cost around $700,000 to $1.1 million. Board members asked Riley to develop more detailed calculations for the next step, and to provide a comparison for converting to a conventional heating and cooling system, an option that would also be very expensive.
"The engineer told us that if we get the ground source system running better, it would be 30 to 50 percent more efficient than a conventional system," Hanson said. "We've got a lot to look at as we determine our plan. We had a good discussion."
In other action, board members closed on the purchase of the house at 618 Ninth Street, south of the South Building at the Monett Middle School. Hanson was asked to work up bids for the removal of the building, either by moving or demolishing it, which will hopefully be ready for review at the board's next meeting on Nov. 19.
"The house would be a good thing if someone wanted to move it. We would certainly look into that," Hanson said.
Hanson reported on the move of the house built by the construction technology class at the Scott Regional Technology Center to Third and Birch streets. The house was placed in the yard and a permanent foundation was built up under it. Last week the house was lowered onto the foundation. The house is being marketed through RE/MAX Properties.