Cassville to build new monument to honor alumni

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Pictured is a portion of the senior sidewalk listing members of the classes of 1922-1972 on the Cassville high school campus outside the JC Duncan Gymnasium. Due to the deterioration of the concrete from weather and foot traffic over time, the names are barely legible. To continue to honor its past graduates, which has been a long-held tradition of the school, the district plans to build a new monument sometime after the first of the year with a new design that will better preserve the names of alumni. Contributed photo

Deteriorating sidewalk, coming renovation lead to decision

The Cassville school district is planning to build a new monument to honor alumni members from the classes of 1922-1972, which are imprinted on a sidewalk on campus outside of the JC Duncan Gymnasium.

Traditionally, the high school has honored its alumni by stamping the names of every graduating student on the sidewalk, but after years of weathering and foot traffic, many names are no longer legible due to deteriorating concrete.

To comply with the guidelines established within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will complete a sidewalk renovation project that will span the length from 5th street to 17th street. As a result of the renovation, the deteriorating senior sidewalks for the classes of 1922-1972 will be removed.

"Our senior sidewalks are important to us," said Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent. "We are committed to remembering our heritage and take great pride in preserving our history at Cassville schools."

The district has established a committee with alumni, school board members and school staff to determine the details regarding the new monument, which will replace the current sidewalks for those classes.

"Our committee began meeting at the beginning of the year, and we all agreed, without a doubt, we wanted to continue to honor our graduates," said Jill LeCompte, assistant superintendent. "While we hate to see the sidewalks removed, we also think our new monument will be a great addition to our school. The monument will be easy to read and will not deteriorate like many of our senior sidewalks have."

The Senior Sidewalk Committee is evaluating several options for the appearance and design of the monument.

"While we must be mindful of the expense associated with this project, we also want to create a nice area for alumni and community members to enjoy," said Dusty Reid, director of facilities and operations. "The sidewalks will be removed in the summer. However, we are still in the design phase for the monument.

"We don't want to rush our decision and not be completely happy with the end result. The committee continues to evaluate several options and we plan to meet at the start of the new year to finalize our plans."

While the monument completion date has not been determined, MoDOT will complete the sidewalk removal and renovations in the summer, before the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Prior to the removal, the district plans to have the sidewalks photographed in order to document this piece of history. Photos will be displayed on campus.

Financial contributions to offset monument expenses are being accepted. Checks may be dropped off or mailed to Cassville R-IV, 1501 Main Street, Cassville, MO, 65625. Contributors should note 'sidewalk project' in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.

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