BOARD APPROVES LEASE OF $1,355,000 FOR IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
(MACON, MO) The Board of Education at the Macon County R-1 Public School, recently approved of a lease totaling a little over a million dollars for school improvement projects. Those projects include turfing the high school football field (making it multi-purpose), moving the elementary playground away from the highway to the east side of the elementary near the Boy's South Baseball Field, and making a multi-purpose building that both the middle and elementary schools can utilize. In November of 2017, voters within the Macon R-1 School District approved of a property tax increase to strictly fund the construction of an elementary addition. The new improvement projects will not raise taxes for the taxpayers within the district. We reached out Superintendent of Macon R-1, Scott Jarvis, for answers regarding several questions. The following are those questions and those answers.
1. What are the School Improvement Projects?
a. Multi-Purpose turf field to be used as a band practice field, outdoor PE classroom, football practice and games, baseball and softball could utilize for practices at times of wet weather.
b. Once the field is finished, we will move the playground on 63 to the area where the band has been practicing on for years.
c. When the playground is moved, we will make that area near 63 into a 44 space parking area for elementary teachers. This will free up several spaces in the circle drive for our patrons to park during the day.
d. The T-ball field will be able to stay where it currently is and we will no longer need that space for a playground.
e. Multi-Purpose Center for the elementary and middle school to use in the current Butler building location (4th and 5th grade area now). We would demolish a section of the 1971 building and build a new structure over the existing concrete pad, which, will save money. The center will be a very basic free-span metal building. This building could be used by the elementary to hold assemblies and other school activities. The current elementary gym is too small to have all of the students in it for any activity. It would also allow the MS boys and girls to have PE everyday instead of every other day. It could be used to athletic practices after school. We would have one row of bleachers in the center to accommodate approximately 500 people. This structure will be very basic and not a 4 million dollar gym that was requested in other ballot issues.
f. Several projects we will complete over the next year have nothing to do with this lease.
i. The corridor that connects the MS to the elementary is about to fall down and it will repaired (you can see through the walls).
ii. The elementary kitchen will be expanded by incorporating the current faculty lounge back into the kitchen. We are making the elementary kitchen area bigger so it can be self-sufficient and food no longer has to be cooked in the high school and brought up.
iii. Coke donated $10,000 dollars to the school last year. That money will be used to replace the falling down fence around the football field. It will be replaced with a black fence.
iv. The concrete drive behind the Career Center will be replaced
UPDATE ON THE ELEMENTARY ADDITION:
a. The project is going well and the inside should be done by the end of March.
b. We still have site work that will need to take place once the weather warms up
c. The road connecting Walnut to the new elementary addition I hope to have complete by the end of the school year. This will help with the new drop off and pick up area for elementary students.
d. Once the multi-purpose field is complete, we will start moving the playground and creating a parking lot.
There will always be facility needs at Macon do to the age of our buildings.
2. Has the Board approved?
The elementary addition project was obviously approved a few years ago and it will be completed soon. Currently the project is running significantly under budget and I do not see that changing. Money left over will be used to make payments on the building. Items a. through e. under section 1 (of your questions) will be a part of the new lease. The rest of the projects list are just normal yearly budgeted items.
3. Why have they been chosen?
The district is landlocked and has few options for expanding. The field was important because it will free up space to do other things. The playground needs to be relocated to a safer space. Macon is always looking for additional parking spaces. We are one of the largest school districts in our conference and we have the least amount of gym space. We need something for our students to have assemblies, PE every day, and places to practice.
4. How are you financing these improvements?
The BOE approved a lease for $1,355,000. This will NOT require a tax increase to the public. The district could not have taken this on ourselves if the community had not approved the ballot to for the elementary addition. The cost of the new addition was projected at $4,000,000 plus and we could not have done that on our own. The elementary addition was our biggest need. I will also do a one-time 7% transfer ($570,000) from fund 1 to offset the cost.
5. How much are they going to cost (each improvement)?
We went the cheapest option for the field. It will be turf from goal post to goal post and the ends will stay as they currently are. The cost to turf everything inside the track was going to $950,000. We went with the goal-to-goal post option for $628,000 the total price for logo marking and everything else is $662,000. We selected the package we felt we needed and did not do anything extra like many other schools.
We believe the multi-purpose center will come in around $1,000,000. This building will not have anything special only what we need. My main goal is to construct a building and if we need to wait to put bleachers and other things in it, we can. We need the space first.
6. Anything else you feel necessary for the public to know!
When I first came here, our fund balances were about 25% and now they are about 37%. We have been planning to complete many projects on our own so we have planned accordingly. These projects will not require a public tax increase. They will also be paid off at the same time as the elementary addition. I feel that once we are done we will have accomplished many of the items that were listed in the previous 13 million dollar ballot issue for a much cheaper cost. I believe a much smaller approach to fixing the facilities works better than trying to do everything at once.
Any other questions, please feel free to reach out to the Macon R-1 School District.
Please support the Macon County Home Press by subscribing today!