July 29, 2019

If you have been anywhere near the elementary and high school campuses the past few days, you will have noticed quite a deal of demo and dirt movement on the southeast side of the elementary school. The beloved elementary playground/basketball court area behind the elementary was the first thing to go. This area will be the site of the improved bus lane and a portion of the new early childhood building. While at Country Bob’s this past Saturday morning I was asked about the dirt mound on the far southeast corner of the elementary lawn. This dirt is being stored at that location for now and will be reused later in the project. Our new playground location will be in the area just outside the fourth grade wing. There exist several signs of progress at the high school as well. The high school projects will not be as noticeable from the streets, as much of the preliminary work includes interior prepping prior to the actual renovation. The contractors are working their hardest to get as much accomplished prior to our first day of school on August 14. There will remain much to accomplish throughout the entire 2019-2020 school year. At the high school, we anticipate many classroom location changes and possible schedule changes to accommodate for some of the construction uncertainties. Parking will be at a premium at the high school. Already, several parking spots have been eliminated for BRANCO’s office building and other equipment. The fencing in front of the high school will eliminate even more parking spaces. Presently, BRANCO is organizing a phasing schedule for us to communicate with our staff, parents, and students as we commence the school year.

I’m so relieved we finally moved beyond the contract negotiation phase with our architect and construction manager. The fact that we are talking about the inconveniences of the projects is progress. Things are happening and that is very exciting! To celebrate this excitement, I would like to invite all readers of this article to our ceremonial groundbreaking event next Wednesday, August 7 starting at 2pm. Representatives from Dake | Wells Architecture and BRANCO Enterprises will be located in the central office parking lot starting at 2pm. The Early Childhood groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 3pm on the construction site behind the elementary school. If you have a preschool age child (present year or recent Tiger Cub), we would love to have them participate in this exciting photo opportunity. If they happen to have sandbox/toy shovels and/or toy hardhats, feel free to bring them too. The high school renovation groundbreaking ceremony will be at 3:30pm in front of the old high school on Highway 68. Mr. Stammers and Student Council leaders will be partnering together to encourage as many high school students as possible to attend this event. Any and all participants who come are encouraged to bring shovels and/or hardhats, but bringing these items is not required. We encourage everyone in the community to attend. It will be a great opportunity to visit and ask questions, and to celebrate the future of our outstanding district! If you have any questions or concerns during the construction process, please do not hesitate to contact me at: mj@stjschools.org or call 573-265-2300.