October 7, 2019

The past few weeks I provided information about many of the outstanding programs within the district. I continue to be amazed and proud of our staff for creating so many exceptional learning experiences for the students of St. James. The start of our school year has been a great one so far. Outside of academics and extracurriculars, the prevailing storyline at St. James R-I Schools has been the progress of our building projects. It’s been awhile since I provided a “Projects Update” in the weekly report. I will provide a brief update for each of the construction areas. 

At the early childhood site, portions of the sidewalk and bus lane have been completed. According to BRANCO, the projected completion of the bus lane is still scheduled for the end of this month. It is refreshing to have so many local subcontractors working on our projects. I would like to commend Hancock Foundations & Flatwork for pouring 173 yards of concrete on the bus lane last Thursday. That is a tremendous amount to pour in one day. Ted and his crew have displayed great pride in doing the very best job possible for our district. A few portions of the early childhood sidewalk remain to be completed due to a few ADA compliance issues. Dake | Wells Architecture and Archer-Elgin are working to resolve these issues. The early childhood building site is ready for construction to begin very soon.  

Due to the new location of the bus lane, the fourth and fifth grade playground was relocated. The playground is now located on the east side of the present elementary building. This playground is now completely functional with many great improvements and additions. 

At the high school site, more piers were set in the practice gym and auditorium areas last week. The restrooms across from the high school library continue to get closer to completion. We are hopeful these restrooms are ready for student use in the next couple weeks. The old green maintenance shed was also demolished and removed last week.

BRANCO continues to ask when they can take possession of the original two-story portion of the old high school building. Due to these requests, we have been working on a plan to relocate classrooms in the old high school. We have already moved three classrooms into the recently vacated Tiger Cubs I building, with one more room remaining available. We presently have a plan to move classrooms throughout the campus and into a couple nearby locations. Per BRANCO’s current plan, the majority of the moves will not need to take place until the second semester.  

Although is it unrelated to the building projects, our high school gym floor continues to be a topic of interest. The floor suffered water damage in mid-August requiring a complete floor replacement. As of last week, all maple wood was installed. We anticipate the bleachers being reset and the graphic layout to begin this week. This has been a smooth process due to the professionalism of Missouri Floor Company and their skilled laborers. John F. Hodge class of ‘84 graduate, RV Ellis, is one of these skilled laborers. RV is treating this project like it is his very own property. Just another example of how fortunate we are to have local people working on our projects. 

As we move into cooler days and weeks, I hope the weather allows us to continue to see progress with each of these projects. For more information about construction, you may visit our district website at “stjschools.org” and click on “Construction Updates” at the bottom of the page. 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.