In hopes that Camdenton R-III's bond issue passes in April, the district already has preliminary drawings of the new Osage Beach Elementary and remodeled Hurricane Deck Elementary complete. During the school board's February meeting, Michael Kautz and Kenny Southwick of ACI/Frangkiser Hutchens presented the board with their recommendations.
Talk of outgrowing the current outlying buildings have been going on for a while. When the board realized they could present a ballot measure that would not increase the current tax levy but could enable the district to accommodate the elementary schools, they jumped on it.
Kautz and Southwick have made several trips to Camdenton to visit wit Superintendent Tim Hadfield and other staff members to find out what they are looking for in the elementary buildings. Safety seems to be on the forefront of most teachers and administrator's minds.
"We have developed a secure entrance," Kautz said of both buildings. As soon as children are in the building and classes have begun for the day, the building will be locked. The entrance will include vestibule doors. Visitors will be able to enter the first set of doors, but will have no choice but to check in at the office and must be buzzed into the rest of the building.
After addressing the school's needs, the preliminary plan is for Osage Beach Elementary to be a four-part building with a total of 81,845 square feet. The building will house 24 classroom buildings with a few rooms available for overflow classrooms.
In the current plan, Osage Beach Elementary will be a two story school.
"Classes are stacked on top of each other," Kautz said.
The engineers wanted to be sure to include other resources in each of the buildings that the current schools are lacking like a performance area and adequate gymnasium space. Each building will include a gym and cafeteria with a performance area accessible by both. Art and music classrooms are close to the gym and cafeteria so that they can efficiently be used for performances.
The public could have access to certain areas of the buildings after-hours for community functions if needed. Areas of the building can easily be blocked off so that the public does not have access to academic areas.
"It is important that you allow the public in to use your building," Kautz told the board.
In both buildings, the kindergarten and preschool classrooms are close to the school's entrance. "When you have smaller kids, you want to get them to their classroom without walking through the whole building," Kautz said.
In Osage Beach, kindergarten and preschool classrooms are located on the far left wing of the first floor. First and second grade classrooms are in the back on the building on the first floor while third and fourth grades are on the second floor above the lower level classrooms.
Page 2 of 2 - Hurricane Deck Elementary's preliminary plan is set up similar to Osage Beach, but has some differences. Hurricane Deck will remain a one story building and will utilize some of the existing school in the new plan to create a total 75,801 square feet. More than 59,000 square feet will be a part of the addition.
"Hurricane Deck offers its own unique challenges," Kautz said.
He added that the firm is proposing to tear down part of the office area, gymnasium and classrooms that were built in the 1950s, but keep the library area and classroom wing.
Unique to Hurricane Deck is a courtyard that would be built between the media center and kindergarten hallway.
Construction on both buildings are projected to take about 14 to 16 months to complete with a crew at each school. If the ballot measure passes in April, crews are to start work around November 2013 and open the buildings in August 2015.
Since Hurricane Deck's plan utilizes an existing building, some board members expressed the concern of construction going on during the school day.
"I can't tell you that it's not disruptive," Kautz said, but he assured the board that his firm has done similar projects that have succeeded.
The entire current building would remain the same until summer 2015, when parts of that building would be demolished and finishing touches would be done in time to open in August.
Osage Beach Elementary is expected to cost more than $20 million while Hurricane Deck comes in right under $14 million. If the cost does not increase much more, the district would have about $1 million left for safety upgrades in buildings on the main campus.
Hadfield is optimistic and happy with the preliminary drawings.
"This is very exciting," he said. "The buildings will help the school district well into the future to meet the needs of our students."
A campaign committee is currently being put together and will begin working on the campaign soon. After the election, Kautz and Southwick will return to the district and will revise any plans in order to meet the school's specific needs.