Exeter hears project update; approves building payment

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Exeter R-VI School Board approved a building payment for the district's $2.2 million multipurpose building project at its regularly scheduled meeting on May 14.

Prior to approving the payment, Superintendent Tina Nolan updated the board on the building project.

"They will not be done with the main part of the project by the time school starts on Aug. 15," said Nolan. "I've asked Curtis (Looney, Springfield Builders Inc., owner) and Brett (Simmons, project superintendent) to predict when we might be able to take possession of the building. It will be the second or third week in September before we can begin using the new building."

Although, the multipurpose building will not be completed by the start of the 2008-09 school year, the remodeling project that is being completed inside the old cafeteria should be finished sometime this summer. Nolan plans to hire teachers for those classrooms after that portion of the project is complete.

"When school starts, only art and music will be displaced," said Nolan. "Theatre will continue to meet across the street (in the house that is located to the south of the campus)."

For a short period of time next school year, students using classrooms on the northeast side of the campus will continue to walk on the outside of the elementary buildings to access the high school wing of the campus, said Nolan.

"Core drilling on the concrete has been finished, and it tested as it should," said Nolan. "Testing is being done by Palmer and Parish."

The company also tested dirt and gravel compaction and moisture barriers. Other aspects of the project will be tested in the future.

"They have been testing at each stage, and everything so far has looked good," said Nolan.

Looney is displeased with portions of the concrete floors that have been poured for the building project. He has stated that he will contact the concrete subcontractor and ask the subcontractor to grind and polish the floors at no charge to the school district, said Nolan.

"Curtis said that he would take care of it," said Nolan. "The general contractor from Springfield Builders Inc. (SBI) is working with the subcontractor on other projects so he has some leverage."

Although the project has been delayed, it is moving forward, said Nolan.

"Things are moving along," said Nolan. "They are putting the decking on. The metal workers will start putting up the inside walls next week. They will start making some of the transitions between the buildings when school is out. We are finally making progress."

"You can see it is taking shape," said Melvin Lacey, board president, "and it looks good."

After the project update, the board approved a $137,790.67 payment to SBI for the project.

In other business, the Exeter R-VI School Board:

* Heard administrative reports, which showed that student attendance percentages are at 94.62 percent for the high school, 95.14 percent for the middle school and 95.3 percent for the elementary school for the 2007-08 school year.

* Approved the state compliance plan for special education.

* Authorized Davis Lynn and Moots to compile the 2007-08 Annual Secretary of the Board Report.

* Held a closed session to discuss hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting certified staff members.

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