PHOTOS: Macon R-1 Improvement Projects (Track and Field)

May 29, 2019

(MACON, MO) Now that students at Macon R-1 have been dismissed for the summer, construction for a list of improvement projects that was approved by the school board back in January has begun - the board approved of a lease of $1,355,000. These improvement projects include, turfing the high school football field, renovating the new track while adding two more lanes making it an eight lane track, and constructing a multi-purpose center where the fourth and fifth grade classrooms are currently. These projects are allowing the district to do a wide range of things including: moving the elementary playground that is currently along highway 63 to the rear of the school near the Boy's South Baseball Field - this will allow parking to become available where the old playground is, near the new elementary addition. Then the high school band will be moved from the band practice field (where the new playground is going) to the football field once the turf is complete. Once the playground is moved to the back of the school, 44 new parking spaces will be made available, freeing up room in front of the school which often becomes congested during bus drop-off and pick-up. ATG is doing the track and field construction with the project costing $1,127,000. Superintendent of Schools, Scott Jarvis is hoping that the track and field projects will be done by the end of the summer.

"When i first came here, our fund balances were about 25% and now the are about 37%. We have been planning to have too 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. The district could not have taken this on ourselves if the community had not approved the ballot initiative for the elementary addition (November 2017)," stated Superintendent Scott Jarvis.

By making the football field turf, the high school band will be able to host practices and other activities on the field including the first ever band festival that will be coming to Macon in September of 2019. We reached out to the Macon Band Director, Jamie Baker, for a comment:

"The new turf field will provide the opportunity to practice on a fully marked field, being able to take advantage of the precise locations of all the painted markers. Being able to teach kids to use more than just yard lines and hash marks will be advantageous to learning and cleaning drill manuevers. The new turf field will allow us to practice after a rain whereas sometimes we've had to forego practices due to inclement conditions. Most importantly the field will be much safer for the students to march on. Over the years I've had numerous kids tweak ankles because of the uneven ground and holes that have been created on the field---no more patching holes with playground mulch! The band uniforms will also need much less laundering being able to march on a surface that is not going to kick up mud---the kids will now just have to learn to dump out any of the small rubber particles from inside their shoes! The addition of a turf field has made it possible for us to host our own marching festival as well. We will be hosting the Macon City of Maples Marching Festival on Saturday, September 21st which will feature a downtown parade, indoor drumline competition, indoor flag competition, and a field show competition," stated Baker.

Nine schools have signed up for the festival so far.

Article and pictures taken by Writer Benjamin C. Nelson

**Click on the pictures to view them**