The Monett R-1 Board of Education looked at plans for adding storm shelters and solving traffic issues at Monett Middle School during the November meeting.
Superintendent Brad Hanson said plans for the safe rooms, largely funded by grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), were discussed. The shelter planned to serve the students at Monett High School and the Scott Regional Technology Center is planned to hold 1,536 people. The shelter beside the E.E. Camp gym at the middle school for grades 5 to 8 is being designed to hold 1,731 people.
After school hours, Hanson said the shelters will be available to the public in case of emergencies.
The safe room at the high school will also serve as a new performing arts center. The function of the shelter by the middle school was still open. Hanson reported he and principals Dr. Jay Apostol and Peg Bryan helped develop five options which were presented to board members.
Following a review of pros and cons on each option, the board chose the approach offering the most options. Making the shelter double as a multi-purpose building would enable it to become the new cafeteria and assembly area.
"With this approach, we could consider adding classrooms in the current cafeteria, or in the old auditorium of the middle school on the west side of Ninth Street," Hanson said, "if we can afford it."
Pam Haldiman, the architect with Sapp Design Associates who headed the renovation at Monett Elementary School, planned to take the ideas and shape a design for the board's consideration. Drawings will be submitted to FEMA for approval.
Board members discussed ways to solve the traffic problem at the middle school as part of building the FEMA shelter. Hanson talked to City Administrator Dennis Pyle and has asked the city to consider a major alteration: closing Ninth Street between Scott and Cleveland during the school day.
"There is no better way to ensure the safety of kids," Hanson said. "We would have a moveable gate that would swing open and shut. We'd close it from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rest of the time the street would be open to two-way traffic.
"It would have to be a city decision," Hanson said. "I let the board know we had been talking. They all felt good about the idea, if it is possible."
Discussions are continuing about adding more parking around the middle school and where pick-up and drop-off would move if Ninth Street was closed. Hanson said the board is continuing to look at options.
Board members also discussed building a storage facility east of the high school football and band practice field, west of Scott Tech. A new metal building with a stick frame would provide storage space for the band and for blocking dummies. Material is currently stored in a van parked on the grounds and in the high school's old ag building on the west end of the campus.
The board asked the construction technology class at Scott Tech to build the storage structure over the next few months. In addition, the City of Monett asked to have the construction technology class build a new clubhouse for the Windmill Ridge Golf Course.
The city provided a design for the building. Board members agreed to make the clubhouse the class's next big project.
Hanson received permission from the board to have a structural evaluation made on both buildings on the middle school campus, built in the early 1970s, and Central Park Elementary.
A contract was awarded for demolishing the house recently purchased by the district at 618 Ninth Street. Olen Morris Ditching received the contract as one of two bidders for $8,105.
The sale of surplus property was approved, including three items from the house.