(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
BENTON -- What was once a plain view to the high school track has been replaced with the ever-changing construction of Scott County R-4's new 16-
classroom building and multipurpose gymnasium/cafeteria.
"We've got a lot of different things going up," superintendent Don Moore said.
Workers are currently laying cinder blocks to form the perimeter and interior walls of the new building. The side of the building that faces Highway 77 is covered with brick.
The first steel beam of the roof frame was installed Tuesday, and once all the beams are in place, work will begin to cover the roof, Moore said.
Electricians keep conduit going with the rise of the building, and the same with plumbers, Moore said. Also being installed are HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems and gas lines.
In April 2005, Scott County R-4 (Kelly) voters approved bond issues to construct new buildings at their high school with ground broken in March.
The 35,000-square foot classroom building will connect to the south side of the existing high school gym and extend behind the superintendent's office building and out toward the track. The multipurpose gymnasium/cafeteria area will sit next to the west side of the existing high school gymnasium.
School began Aug. 17, and so far construction, which takes place near the south end of the high school gymnasium, has not affected the district educationally, Moore said.
"Also in the summer time, workers were doing a lot of ground preparation and that was loud, but there were no students here so that worked out well," Moore said.
"We're really pleasantly surprised. We anticipated a lot more overcrowding in the high school parking lot," Moore said.
To alleviate parking problems, Moore and high school principal Tom Hulshof divided parking in the front and back of the school building.
"Students who leave first thing in the morning to ride the bus to the Cape Career and Technology Center park in the back, and all of the athletes in season like cross country and softball park in the back," Moore said.
Community members have inquired about the building's progress, Moore said.
"They have lot of interest in the building. They want to see it up for their kids. We're all anticipating the new building. Teachers are wondering and looking in on the progress, too," Moore said.
There's a lot of different stages of construction but mostly working on the scene is the district's main contractor, Brown Construction of Dexter and its subcontractors.
The district's architect John Dudley of Jackson anticipates work will be completed in the spring, Moore said. Of course there are many variables, such as weather, that may affect work progress, he added.
Another Scott County school district is working toward its bond issue project. In April, Oran R-3 voters approved a $2.5 million bond issue to build a new elementary and junior high school connecting to the high school.
Oran R-3 superintendent Mitch Wood said the school district is currently taking bids for general contractors. The school board will meet Sept. 13, and that's when the board expects to award the bid to a general contractor, he said.
"We're pretty much on target as far as what we're wanting to do," Wood said.
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.