Initial construction advancing on Purdy school project

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Groundbreaking ceremony slated for Jan. 16

Construction on the new storm shelter, preschool and performing arts center at the Purdy school district started at a slower pace than expected.

By mid-December, general contractor R.E. Smith had fenced off the former playground west of the high school and removed most of the trees. School Superintendent Steven Chancellor reported a delay in supplying rebar had delayed efforts. Over the Christmas break, he expected crews to bore under the highway, one of those operations that would go better with less traffic around.

Crews delayed removing some of the moved earth last week due to muddy conditions. Once that was removed, base gravel for the new structure would begin to arrive.

If crews could complete digging footings for the new structure by mid-January, Chancellor felt the project could progress on schedule. Board members agreed to hold a formal groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2018. Prior to that, the district will offer an open house, with invitations extended to the general contractor, site foreman, representatives from Paragon Architecture and district patrons.

As part of the meeting, fourth graders presented the board with a video shaped on the “12 Days of Christmas” formula referring the “12th Day of Kindness.” Students spoke about why they appreciated the school board. While several praised the board for making decisions and doing “important stuff,” a large number commented they appreciated the board for building a storm shelter for the community.

Following the video, Randy Henderson, board president, pointed out that recurring theme in the comments.

“[The storm shelter] may weigh on those kids' minds more than we know,” Henderson said.

Construction on the $2.3 million project is expected to be completed in late 2018.

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