Purdy school construction project taking shape

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Stephen Chancellor, Purdy school superintendent, showed school board members the entrance closest to Gabby Gibbons Drive for the planned preschool and FEMA shelter on the latest floor plans for construction of the new preschool and performing arts center. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat

Design revisions to save money, reduce stormwater issues

Revisions in the construction plan for the new FEMA shelter at the Purdy school district offered $100,000 in savings as school officials drew closer to awarding a construction contract.

Superintendent Stephen Chancellor recently unveiled several revisions worked out with Paragon Architecture of Springfield that overcame issues raised in previous discussions.

The architectís design for the auditorium interior of the new performing arts center at the Purdy schools. Contributed photo

The footprint for the building moved farther to the north of the current preschool building on the west side of Gabby Gibbons Drive. The original location sat in the stormwater run-off drainway that would have required extensive earthwork to raise the structure out of the waterway. The spot now targeted will require very little elevation, Chancellor said. Stormwater will run into a ditch across the front of the school.

The latest changes expanded on that move by changing the roofline to drain in one direction. The kitchen was also rearranged to consolidate the heating and cooling system use. The preschool will have two rooms. A vinyl floor would also need less maintenance.

Chancellor observed the FEMA portion of the building is largely driven by the federal formula for building a storm shelter. The districtís accommodations of that space for expanded use offered a variety of options.

The auditorium for the performing arts center will have a mezzanine, he noted. Between the lower and upper levels, there will be space for 750 to 900 permanent seats, not portable. The stage will have a portable extension rather than a bump-out for expansion potential.

The latest design for the auditorium called for a metal exterior and drywall interior with no blocks. Walls for FEMA shelters come from precast concrete.

Access is planned for two directions. The public would enter from the north, off an angled parking lot. A ramp will go on the south end for entry by students. Chancellor said from previous drills, all the students could move from the school into the new building in less than five minutes.

The first check from SEMA covering engineering would had arrived, reported board secretary Anna Marie Erwin. By the August board meeting, Chancellor said 75 percent of the design work had been completed. All the plans would be submitted to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for final authorization before the district could seek bids.

The board hoped to award a construction contract when it meets Oct. 23.

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