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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

SPS nears completion of building alterations

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Adam Rodden and Bill Bollinger weld a shelf together.
SIKESTON -- As the countdown to the first day of school gets closer, two Sikeston schools are putting the finishing touches on changes prompted by the reorganization of classes.

Sights and sounds of construction workers and moving are more or less a given at the Seventh and Eighth Grade Center and Fifth and Sixth Grade Center.

"We're pretty much on schedule, I think," said Cheryl Macke, principal of the Seventh and Eighth Grade Center.

And despite the boxes still stacked in some hallways and rooms, Fifth and Sixth Grade Center Principal Chuck Mayes was confident everything will be ready on time.

"We've just got to get everything in it's place," he said.

One of the biggest changes at the Seventh and Eighth Grade Center, the former middle school, is the creation of two separate industrial technology stations from one larger room.

"We divided our industrial arts room and put in a wall," Macke said. "It's been quite a transformation."

The smaller room is the new industrial arts lab, that has 10 computer stations, each which seat two students. Each station has a theme, such as home plans, flight and alternative energy.

There is also a teacher's desk and two extra stations for student enrichment.

Bill Bollinger, one of the industrial arts teachers, said he is excited for the changes.

"It's going to be something fun to do," he said. "We'll get to use both traditional tools and the new technology coming out. I think the students will enjoy it."

Another change in the building is the transformation of the music room into a sewing machine room for the Family and Consumer Sciences classes.

"It gives me another teaching tool," said Renee Asher, seventh grade FACS teacher. "I think it's kind of helpful to look back at how things are made and how things are done."

The gym is also receiving a makeover. "They took out two rows of bleachers and moved basketball goals," Macke said. Later this week, the hardwood floors will be resurfaced.

Science labs were updated, including new tables and the addition of lab stations.

New tile was laid all over the school, Macke said. Also, more cameras were installed, including some outside the building.

Work is also wrapping up at the Fifth and Sixth Grade Center -- although Mayes still doesn't have an office space. "They're making one from the old teacher's lounge," he laughed.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of a playground. "This is probably the real implication it is going to be an elementary school," Mayes said.

Staff will attempt to keep the two grades divided in the three wings of the school, Mayes said. As in previous years, the fifth grade will be self-contained -- that is, stay with a core teacher all day with the exception of one special class, such as P.E. or art.

Instead of swapping classrooms every hour, sixth grade students will be taught four classes by a base teacher in the morning, then switch every hour in the afternoon, Mayes explained.

The old industrial tech room is being converted into a science lab and meeting room, Mayes said. It will also be used for the sixth-grade gifted program.

Also, asbestos tile was removed in one hallway. New tiles and baseboards were laid.

The changes also brought about a new position: assistant principals for each class at the schools. Toni Kellett will be the fifth grade assistant and Tim Regenold the sixth at the Fifth and Sixth Grade Center. Jeanne Anne Sullivan serves as seventh grade assistant principal, with Steven Bays filling the eighth grade position at the Seventh and Eighth Grade Center.