Making way for a new facility

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Demolition work Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed Buchanan Trucking began the demolition of the old middle school field house on the Cassville R-4 School District last Wednesday. The field house is being demolished to make room for a new emergency shelter and multipurpose building.

Bids could be accepted for the Cassville R-4 School District's new emergency shelter and multipurpose facility as early as July. In February, the district received approval for a FEMA grant that will fund the construction of the new facility.

The R-4 School Board accepted a $7,900 bid from Buchanan Trucking for the demolition of the middle school field house at its May meeting. Demolition work began last week in preparation for the construction of the new 8,500-square-foot emergency shelter.

"We are 95 percent complete on the design phase," said Superintendent Richard Asbill. "The design will go to FEMA this week. It will be two to four weeks before we receive approval or a revision on the design."

In April, the Cassville School Board discussed design options for the project. After reviewing a pair of design options, the board approved a design that will offer a smaller, 846-square-foot, lobby instead of a 1,456-square-foot lobby.

"The board felt this design offers the angled access that would provide a better entrance for students coming from the intermediate and middle schools," said Asbill. "They also felt this design offers an easier entrance for wheelchair accessibility."

The project design calls for the construction of a mezzanine that will be used for a sound and lighting control area. A stage will be added to the west side of the multipurpose area and retractible chairback seating will be installed on the east side of the facility.

The design also offers a storage area. The district plans to use the area to store chairs, which will be used to add seating on the floor of the multipurpose room. When the chairs are not in use, the floor area will be open for inside recess and other physical activities.

While the district is awaiting approval from FEMA, officials will be developing a "grocery list" of the finishing items that will be needed to complete the multipurpose, said Asbill. Items, such as bleachers, a sound system, a stage, lighting and outdoor landscaping, will not be covered by FEMA funding.

"When we receive final approval, we will start the bidding process," said Asbill. "We would like to be in the competitive bidding process by mid to late July."

The new facility will be used for instrumental and vocal music programs, drama productions and other events. The facility, like all Cassville School District buildings, will also be available to rent for community events.

"We are not constructing just a general purpose building," said Asbill. "This facility will primarily be for the safety of our students and other children in the community. We must provide for those functions first, including how to get people into the facility as quickly as possible."

The FEMA grant will provide the district with $1,518,399 in funding for the project. The grant requires a 25 percent match, which means the district will be responsible for $380,000 in project costs.

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