After Camdenton R-III's bond issue passed in April, the school and architecture firm have been hard at work completing plans for a brand new Osage Beach Elementary and renovations of the current Hurricane Deck Elementary.
During the June 10 school board meeting, Michael Kautz from ACI- Boland presented the latest designs to the board. Board members present voted unanimously to accept the final plans for each school.
"Our staff members provided their insight into the plans and the architects did a superb job of incorporating our needs and wants into the plans. The design of our buildings will provide a quality learning environment for our students," Superintendent Tim Hadfield said.
This process has been a long time coming for the Camdenton district. The two outlying elementary schools have seen overcrowding in the recent years and do not have parallel resources to buildings on the main campus.
For Osage Beach Elementary Principal Renee Slack, there were many items on her and her staff's wish list. Storm safe rooms, secure entrances, different wings for age groups, separate gym and cafeteria areas, a gymnasium large enough to be used by community groups, adequate storage areas and technology capabilities throughout the building were just a few of the needs that the new building will meet.
Hurricane Deck Elementary has similar needs. For Principal Christina Page, structural soundness, separate gym and cafeteria areas, extra classroom space, an expanded library media center, storm shelters, adequate drop off and pick up areas and technology capabilities will allow Hurricane Deck to give students an education and environment that will allow each student to excel.
"I am thrilled with what Mr. Kautz presented to the Board of Education Monday night. I feel that Dr. Hadfield has done an excellent job in involving many stakeholders in this process. Teacher input has been solicited and utilized in many instances. This will truly be a community project that will benefit many Lakers to come," Page said.
Slack echoed Page's excitement.
"I was extremely pleased and encouraged by the boards approval of the plans. They had some good questions that I felt Mr. Kautz, the architect, did a nice job answering. In a project this size, we should have questions because this is truly a building being built for our students and staff, but also our community. A collection of thoughts, questions and ideas will hopefully lead to the best building possible," Slack added.
Osage Beach Elementary is not only getting a new building but a new location. The school will no long sit across from the Outlet Mall in Osage Beach, but now will sit on Nichols Road.
"The location of the new building is going to provide us with so many different opportunities than we currently do not have. We are so limited on our space inside and outside our current location, that there are many ideas that we simply could not facilitate. With my wonderful staff, the possibilities of what students and community members might be able to utilize in the future are limitless. Just a few ideas off the top of my head are walking trails, gardening areas to learn about native plants, conservation projects and much more," Slack said. "The other benefit of the new building is that we will have adequate space and will be able to alleviate some of the crowding issues at our other elementary buildings in the district."
Page 2 of 2 - The Osage Beach Elementary building has significant history inside. Slack is planning on bringing some of that history to the new building.
"The architects are already planning to bring the two large murals that have many former student signatures on them and placing them in special places in the building. We will also take all of the items that have been gifted to the school from graduating classes throughout the years. It may be a new building, but we plan on continuing the pride and positive culture that we have at Osage Beach Elementary as Camdenton Lakers," Slack said.
The district's next move is to meet with the architecture firm again to develop the construction documents over the summer months. The documents will be brought to the school board for review in August. After the documents are completed and approved, the school can start the bidding process.