New School Construction Planned for Sedalia, Mo.

Apr. 6--Construction on classroom additions at two elementary schools could be complete as soon as mid-October.

The Sedalia school board reviewed a construction timeline at its meeting Monday at Parkview Elementary School, one of the two schools that will have six classrooms added.

The meeting was the first since district voters approved a 55-cent tax increase to fund the construction of the additions at Parkview and Skyline elementary schools and a new high school.

The additions, which will have six classrooms and bathrooms, will cost $1.5 million. Construction of the $22 million high school is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-October, with groundwork beginning the first week of July. The high school may be complete by the end of December 2008.

Before the election, Sam A. Winn, the architect working with the school district, said construction would take until fall of 2008 for the elementary additions and until fall of 2009 for the new high school.

Mr. Winn said the changed timeline is "a very aggressive schedule."

Assistant Superintendent Harriet Wolfe said the district asked Mr. Winn to speed up the construction of the elementary additions. "And he seems to think he can expedite" the process, Dr. Wolfe said. She added that weather influences how quickly construction proceeds.

Bids for elementary construction may be voted on at a meeting in late May, with construction scheduled to begin June 4. Bids for high school site development would be ready for a board vote on June 25, according to the calendar. Construction on the building would begin in October.

The board would receive construction updates every month.

Mr. Winn said architects would meet with high school staff before the end of the school year to get their ideas and needs for classrooms.

"This is obviously a first draft, and as we continue to develop we can fine tune-this," Mr. Winn said of the timeline.

Superintendent Doug Ebersold cautioned the board that moving students in the middle of the year could be difficult.

Jeff Sharp said that while he wants to see the elementary additions completed quickly, "on the high school I think there's no advantage to having the school done at the middle of the year."

Board member Jeff Redford, who manages rental properties, said he thought the construction schedule looked good.

"I strongly stressed that we needed to get started on the elementary school (additions) yesterday," Mr. Redford said. Board member Jim Waldo said, "I think they've got it set up where they can get it done as quick as they can."

The construction is intended to relieve elementary classroom overcrowding because of increased enrollment. The district estimates enrollment will increase by about 90 students next year at the elementary level.

The board discussed a 2.5 percent increase to salaries, which is scheduled for a vote on April 23.

The 2.5 percent raise means the lowest salary a certified teacher would receive would be $29,561.

For this school year, employees received a 3 percent raise.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index in February 2007 was 2.4 percent higher than the year before.

Dr. Wolfe said the increase was based on how much state funding the district expects to receive next year.

The board approved a donation of a $7,250 sound system for Jennie Jaynes Stadium from the Smith-Cotton Football Booster Club and the Athletic Boosters.

Dr. Sharp was unanimously elected president of the board, replacing Ken Coffelt. Jeff Redford was re-elected vice president, and Mary Allee was reelected treasurer.

The board, in a 4-3 vote, decided that Stan Bowlin would continue as secretary. Jim Waldo, Jeff Sharp and Mary Allee voted for Mr. Waldo to replace Mr. Bowlin.

Copyright (c) 2007, The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo.