Maries R-1 hears summer campus construction project updates

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 7/7/21

VIENNA — As part of his administrative report at the last Maries R-1 School Board meeting he will attend as the district’s superintendent, Mark Parker gave an update on the summer construction …

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Maries R-1 hears summer campus construction project updates

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VIENNA — As part of his administrative report at the last Maries R-1 School Board meeting he will attend as the district’s superintendent, Mark Parker gave an update on the summer construction projects. The projects are part of a package of improvements funded by and extension of the district’s bond issue for which Parker helped get voter approval.

Superintendent Parker’s contract with the school district ended on the last day of June. New Superintendent Teresa Messersmith assumed the leadership helm on July 1, 2021.

At the June school board meeting, Parker gave a construction update. The Maries R-1 track project is finished, looks good, and will need scheduled care and upkeep in several years.

The window project in the elementary and middle school is a big upgrade with energy savings and safety in mind. He said all of the classroom windows on the original plan have been installed and trim work will be done so the walls can be painted. Once the painting is completed in the middle school, the radiator heat will be reinstalled and the rooms will be turned back over to the school so preparation for the 2021-2022 school year can begin. Then the drywall and finishing crew will move to the elementary to complete those rooms. At the meeting, Parker said there were some rooms left out on the window project and he sought bids for supplies and hourly wages. He estimated the additional cost at $14,000 to $15,000.

Over half of the exterior doors have been removed and framed back in and are ready for door installation when they arrive. The plan was for the additional doors to be done once summer school is out. The safety entryways work will begin after the classroom work is finished.

The next big project is the hallway/concession stand addition on the south side of the building at the gym entrance. A concession stand and hallway will be built outside of the band room and the gym entrance will be improved. Parker anticipated the ground work will begin soon on this addition. They want to get the foundation, plumbing and utilities completed as well as the physical structure up before school begins. If that happens, a temporary entry can be used to enter the gym safety for basketball games. Parker said this will be a “fluid project with us working with the construction company for access to the gym for events.”

Parker reported to the board members he is getting bids for the bus road/parking lot project. He’d like the road to be finished by August 9. The road project is either going to be done in conjunction with the parking lot project or as a stand along project as the bid from Byrne and Jones came in over the amount the district’s engineer estimated. This project may have to wait because of the high bids. Board President Vicki Bade said, “Getting it done by August ninth is not going to happen.” She said they may have to wait until 2022 to do the parking lot.

Parker commented the school board will need to decide whether or not to proceed with the parking lot work before all of the building renovations are completed. “I would not want to finish the parking lot and then have additional costs for the building,” he said. “I want to be sure to have the building done right.”

R-1 Custodian Mike Shaughnessy is nearly finished with the basketball changing rooms. The walls have been textured and will soon be painted. Once that is finished, they will install dry erase boards, benches and doors. Then the floors will be addressed and the project will be completed.

The board members discussed future projects including replacing the boards over the windows in the little gym with bricks. Bade said to make sure they do this to all the windows there as “we don’t want boards up in there.” Elementary Principal Shanda Snodgrass said so many windows were broken in the gym they had to do something.

Other projects include completing the tile floor in the ag hallway, FACS room and landing, the 3rd to 5th grade hallway, and the cafeteria. Also, some cosmetic work needs to be done in the restrooms near the gym.

Parker said there are two doors in Mr. Baird’s room and one will be taken out and a window will replace it.

Bade asked if there is a schedule for playground upkeep. Parker said mulch will be added when it is needed. Snodgrass said they usually do this before school starts as it blows away. But the kids playing on it pack it down so they wait until closer to the start of school.

About the playground, Snodgrass said a new set of steps is needed coming out of the building to the playground as they are cracking. Also, the sidewalk there is uneven and unsafe with parts of it coming off. The sidewalk needs to be taken out and leveled. Board member Mike Kleffner said if the construction workers are doing dirt work, ask them to take out the sidewalk and level it.

Bade said the preschool playground gets a lot of sun. Kleffner said they talked about a door from the preschool to the playground but didn’t have the money at the time. He suggested looking into it now with the construction company. Board Vice President Penny Schoene suggested asking them to price it while they are on campus. Kleffner said now would be a good time because “the equipment and know-how is here now.”

In other business at the June R-1 School Board meeting:

—During the financial report, board members questioned the big tuition payment to St. Elizabeth School District. It was $22,000 paid to St. Elizabeth for four students. Parker later commented he would like the law to be changed or for Vienna’s population to grow enough that the school district would not have to pay this. “I do not think it is fair for our students,” he said.

June’s electricity bill was $3,909.79 for a total for the fiscal year of $49,366.56. There has been a $2,500 savings in electricity over the last year. Parker attributed this to the light project. There was no propane bill in June and total propane expense during the fiscal year was $40,332.60.

June’s Formula/CTF revenue during June was $98,606.62. Total Formula/CTF revenue of the fiscal year was $1,177,402.63.

Prop C June revenue was $38,287.53 and fiscal year total was $472,457.93.

Transportation revenue for June was $6,144 and fiscal year total was $73,396. The projections from the state and using student adequacy target amounts and estimates for funding are all components that help calculate the state payment each month, which are anticipated to be about the same next year.

—Parker said he did not move forward with air conditioning the gym because the school district will need to utilize ESSER II money before getting bids. By his 2020-21 budget figures and the preliminary audit, the school district is under, but close to the threshold requiring the school to have a federal audit. They are trying to remain under the threshold for this school year. Parker thinks the district most likely will be required to have the federal audit next school year. He said they need to get past July 1 and into the new fiscal year before going forward with that project.

—The gym is scheduled to be refinished July 26 with a shoot out held the week before.

—Board member and former board president Cindy Petershagen was at the meeting as a watcher. She has moved out of the school district and needs to be replaced on the board. Parker said prospective board members can leave their names and contact numbers at the superintendent’s office by July 1 and the board will make the decision about who will replace Petershagen.

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