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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Schools ready for opening

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Phillip Blissett prepares to carpet an office at Scott County Central High School.
SIKESTON -- Local school districts use summer time for their spring cleaning, to make sure everything is squeaky clean and in tiptop shape for students.

"We try to make sure everything looks new and clean and up-to-date as possible," said Joel Holland, superintendent of Scott County Central.

A big project there over the summer was the renovation of the high school principal's office.

"We're opening it up, to make it more user-friendly for parents when they come in," he said.

A wall was taken out of the old concession stand, and sliding glass doors are in its place, Holland continued. This will give more visibility, with a full view of the building entrance.

"Before, someone could walk into the building and really not be seen for a few minutes," Holland said. "This will help us recognize and eliminate any safety issues that might be a concern if we didn't have it."

In addition to routine maintenance, Charleston schools have remodeled the elementary library over the summer.

"We wanted to open up some additional space for students," said Kevin Miller, superintendent. "It's a combination of computer space and classroom space attached to the library."

The changes will be bigger at four school districts, which are completing their bond issue projects.

At Oran, the construction of a new elementary and junior high school connecting to the high school is right on schedule, said Mitch Wood, superintendent.

"The thing that's going to push us to the line is our renovation project," he said, referring to the remodeling of the cafeteria to a library/media center. "As everyone knows, any time you remodel it is a quite lengthy process."

Teachers may still be putting books on the shelves the first few days of school, he said, but they are excited about the new facilities.

"They're coming out of buildings that are 60 years old, so it's going to be pretty nice," he said.

Excitement is also in the air at Kelly Schools, where additions were made to the high school, with middle school classes moving into some of the vacated rooms.

"It's very busy around here," said high school Principal Tom Hulshof. "We're in the process of moving right now."

All of the temporary classroom trailers were removed, Hulshof noted, and students and parents will notice the difference just on the property.

"You notice them just if you're gone for a week or so," Hulshof said.

East Prairie's renovations, which began last fall, are also completed.

"We replaced the majority of the roof at the high school and upgraded all the single-pane windows at the high school to energy efficient ones," said Superintendent Scott Downing.

The roof was repaired and new windows installed at Doyle Elementary as well. Heating and air conditioning units throughout the district were updated to more efficient models, and a storage building was transformed into an alternative school.

"Now we're just making sure everything is ready for the kids when they get here," Downing said.

And at New Madrid County Elementary Schools, renovations have been under way.

Earlier this summer, Superintendent Bill Nance predicted all work will be completed at the Lilbourn and Matthews Elementary schools by the end of the summer while work will continue at the New Madrid Elementary School again next summer. Nance was unavailable for comment.