Purdy school groundbreaking rescheduled for Tuesday

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
R.E. Smith Construction workers Zach Russell, left, and Josh Cornell, right, secured the form wall for the footing on the south side of the new Purdy school building on Thursday in preparation for positioning rebar and the first concrete pour, which took place on Saturday. At back left is the Purdy High School, and at right is the preschool building. Murray Bishoff/times-news@monett-times.com

Plans still open for fate of old preschool building

Formal groundbreaking ceremonies for the new storm shelter, early childhood and performing arts center at the Purdy school district will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The date is a rescheduling of the Jan. 16 event changed due to snow.

Residents in the Purdy community are encouraged to attend the groundbreaking ceremony and be part of a group photo.

Dennis Eckhardt, project superintendent for R.E. Smith Construction, shows plans for the new Purdy school building, which should see walls rise next month. Murray Bishoff/times-news@monett-times.com

According to Dennis Eckhardt, project superintendent for R.E. Smith Construction, crews began digging footings on Jan. 17, laid rebar on Friday and poured the first concrete into the south footing on Saturday.

"We're going to pour concrete every day if we can," Eckhardt said.

The footings will be six feet wide and six feet deep at the south end, tapering to four feet deep at the north end due to the changing topography of the site. Eckhardt said the 35-foot precast concrete walls are due to arrive in mid-February. By the first of May he hopes to see the enclosed structure in place, He hopes to have the storm shelter useable by students by the time the next school year starts in August.

School Superintendent Steven Chancellor told board members the project remains on schedule, despite the weather delay.

Another issue that arose is what to do with the preschool building, located immediately south of the construction site. Chancellor secured a demolition bid of $5,500 from J.D. Vaughn in Monett, then subsequently sought bids for asbestos removal.

"There's no asbestos inside the building," Chancellor said. "There is under the vinyl [siding]."

Chancellor hoped the asbestos removal bids would come in around $1,000, but ranged from $1,800 to $5,000.

"The building is not worth $10,000. I made a mistake," Chancellor said.

Board members opted not to accept a change order to move forward with demolition. The general consensus was to seek some other removal process, even if it involved giving the building away, as long as it was moved.

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