R-VI students to begin using new facilities

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Although rainy spring weather pushed the Exeter R-VI School District's building project completion date back a few months, students will be able to begin using some of the school's new classrooms in early September.

"Springfield Builders Incorporated (SBI) has been great," said Superintendent Tina Nolan. "This project has forced them to work right where our kids are, and they have been really good about working safely around the kids."

SBI has nearly completed the renovation of the district's old cafeteria, which was converted into several classrooms and offices.

"We should be able to begin using these classrooms around two weeks after school starts," said Nolan. "The multipurpose building will be done by the end of October."

The cafeteria has been converted into an elementary wing that will house two fourth grade classrooms and a large fifth grade classroom. The elementary and central offices will be moved close to a new entrance that has been constructed on the east side of the newly renovated facility.

"This will serve as a secure entrance," said Nolan. "Parents and visitors will be asked to come through this entrance to enter the building."

The newly renovated cafeteria will connect to the new 12,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, which will also have entrances to the high school wing and the district's regulation-size gymnasium.

On Aug. 11, crews began installing the windows in the new multipurpose facility that will be used as a cafeteria, a meeting room and a practice gymnasium. The facility will feature a large stage area that will be available for music and speech performances and competitions.

"We will be able to use this room for basketball practices and volleyball games," said Nolan.

In addition to the multipurpose space, the new facility will house a speech and drama classroom, a small concessions area, a state-of-the-art kitchen and storage areas.

"We will have a dry storage area and a walk-in cooler and freezer, which we have never had before," said Nolan.

The facility also features a large music room with two small sound-proof practice rooms that can be used by band or vocal music students.

"We are really excited," said Nolan. "It is going to be a wonderful new facility."

At its regularly scheduled meeting on July 16, the Exeter R-VI School Board approved two change orders for the district's building project.

The change orders, which totalled $5,025.43, will change the doorway between the existing gymnasium and the new multipurpose facility and alter the electrical circuits to accommodate new kitchen equipment.

In other business, the board approved student handbooks and funding for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, and hired several new faculty members. Thomas Esterly will serve as special education director, Kesha Ledford will serve as a middle school science teacher and Kelly Godfrey has been hired as an elementary teacher for the 2008-09 school year.

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