(Photos by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
BENTON -- A year after breaking ground, construction of Kelly High School's two new buildings is right on schedule with an estimated completion time set for the end of June.
"It seems to be going really well now, and all the different crafts are in there working," Superintendent Don Moore said.
About 57 percent of the project is complete, according to this month's billing statements for the district, Moore said.
"The cold spell we had in February came at a bad time. We had one section that was within two days of finishing. Workers had to have a certain temperature to complete the work, and it kind of delayed them. That was the only thing that held us back," Moore said.
The project eliminates overcrowdedness and the need to have students in three mobile units. Current district enrollment is around 1,030 students, which is about the same as last year, Moore said.
The 35,000-square-foot classroom building, which also contains a library and computer lab, sits adjacent to the south side of the existing high school gym and extends behind the superintendent's office building and out toward the track.
The multipurpose gymnasium/cafeteria area sits next to the west side of the existing high school gymnasium.
"It's neat to watch everything come together. Everything goes hand in hand. Once one gets finished with a job, another picks up where they left off," Moore said.
Moore said current site work includes laying bricks and blocks, wiring cables for computers, installing plumbing and roofing.
"Most of the main building has a roof; there's no lighting in the building itself yet," Moore said, adding there's no finish work completed inside either.
Moore said the exterior is really looking good, especially around the lobby area, which is the main entrance to the building.
"It's just a little sitting area for the school," Moore said about the lobby. "Within a week, we should have the metal on the roof (of the lobby portion), and that's probably the only thing we have that is beyond the basics. The lobby area should be something inviting and something that says, 'This is Kelly schools.'"
And the multipurpose building is forming its shell.
"The multipurpose building is impressive and is taller than any building we have," Moore said.
The multipurpose area will contain a full-size basketball court with bleachers on one side. It will also serve as a cafeteria.
The district's architect John Dudley of Jackson set a conservative completion date of June 30, Moore said.
"It's looking good, and I know there are people, such as faculty members, who walk in and take a look around, and a lot of people look from the outside," Moore said. "... It's exciting."
Sikeston R-6 anticipates to have students moved into the high school's new Math and Science Center before the school year ends, Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller said.
"Our repairs from the water damage (on Dec. 31) are under way, and we hope the building will be put in a usable position in the not too distant future," Borgsmiller said.
Another Scott County school district, Oran R-3, is working toward its bond issue project to build a new elementary and junior high school connecting to the high school.
Oran's project includes the construction of a multi-purpose/cafeteria building and kitchen area with the existing cafeteria being expanded into a library/media center. Lighting, electrical and plumbing system updates are also included.
Photo updates on the three school districts' construction projects can be found at their respective Web sites.