Renovations, updates on the horizon at Southwest

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
The Southwest Little Theatre is pictured before renovations. Contributed photo

Theatre, elementary, middle school buildings to see work done

The Southwest school district has been making changes and continues to look forward to other renovations, focusing on the theatre, elementary and middle school buildings.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent, said the room where the Little Theatre was located is in the process of being renovated.

The newly renovated Southwest Little Theatre was renovated and converted into a usable classroom. Contributed photo

“There are no plans to discontinue the Theatre program, but the location of the performances is being moved,” she said. “In an attempt to utilize floor space in the elementary school, the Little Theatre is now being turned into a space that can be used as a functional classroom.”

Tilford said at this time, the district has pre-school students, 3- and 4-year-olds, making several trips across the parking lot and down to the lower elementary cafeteria door for different classes and lunch.

“These students do not need to be in the weather and lose valuable instructional time, because the travel with this age of student is much slower,” she said. “We also have another class of students currently in the elementary school building which is overcrowded and needs to move to a larger instructional space.”

Tilford said Room 413, the classroom to the left of the faculty restroom, has been turned into a workroom, and the maintenance department is going to make it a full-size classroom again.

“These renovations will get the pre-school into the building, get the overcrowded classroom into a larger classroom, and the workroom can be moved to the small classroom,” she said. “Since the Theatre and speech classes are already being taught in the high school

building, this move will make it more convenient for practicing for performances and provide a larger space for the presentation of the performances.”

Tilford said Room 111 at the high school is where Theatre and speech classes have been held this entire school year.

“The only thing that the Little Theatre was being used for was performances,” she said. “The stage at the high school is going to be used for performances now.”

Tilford said this will give more room for the audience during the performances, and it will allow the space to be used for its original purpose.

“At this time, there are no plans to build a new facility,” she said. “The district needs to place all their efforts in maintaining and renovating the current facilities we have.

“Several years down the road, if the community sees a need, a Theatre will be placed on the ballot for the patrons to vote on.”

Tilford said the total cost for the renovation of the Little Theatre into a classroom is $9,386.80.

“This is money well spent so that 3- and 4-year-old students do not have to make the eight trips back and forth from the elementary school during a school day,” she said. “There is no cost for preparing the stage at the high school because there is a new sound system that was placed in this facility at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, and the new lighting system that was purchased for the Little Theatre is being moved to the high school stage by our maintenance department.”

In other action taken by the board, Proposition K.I.D.S., Keep Improving District Schools, has made some steps in the school district.

Tilford said after the paperwork was signed regarding the $2.2 million no tax increase bond issue going to voters in April, she took it to both Barry and McDonald county clerks to be filed for the ballot.

“I am currently working with CTS to get the information materials ready to start distributing to the public,” she said. “The main focus is to make the building a healthy learning environment.”

Some of the projects for the lower and upper elementary schools and middle school include:

• Restroom renovations (student and faculty)

• Asbestos removal

• Middle school drainage

• Energy efficient windows, doors, and lighting

• Secure entrances and breezeway installation

• Renovation of the multi-purpose room (removal of asbestos floor)

• Lower elementary kitchen and cafeteria renovation and remodel

• Fire alarm system installation

• Plus, other miscellaneous renovations and repairs as discovered as long as funds are available.

Anyone who is interested in being on the Proposition K.I.D.S bond issue committee may call Peggy at 417-826-5410 and provide their name, cell phone number and email address. Meetings will start in February.

“The district appreciates the tremendous support demonstrated by the community members, parents and staff members,” Tilford said. “It takes everyone working together to make Southwest a successful district for the students.”

Tilford said all of the renovations are going to be placed on a ballot for the community to vote on April 2.

“After the community supports these renovations, all of these will be completed during the summer of 2019 and be ready for students for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year,” she said.

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