October 8, 2018

The day after the April 2 bond issue vote, I received a phone call from an excited patron asking when the construction projects were going to get started. He was perplexed when I explained the process of additional planning, design development, and selecting a construction manager. I continued to hear several variations of this same question throughout the summer and as late as during last Friday night’s home football game against Sullivan. Everyone seems genuinely  excited to begin this new phase of building projects at St. James R-I Schools. The members of the Board of Education, the administration, and staff are also full of anticipation and excitement for the construction process to commence.

The design development phase with our construction manager, BRANCO Enterprises, and architect, Dake | Wells, is coming to a close after an extensive feedback process of gathering information from staff and administration over the past few months. The architectural team presented at the September board meeting. They gave those in attendance a 3D tour through the new early childhood and high school renovation designs. It was an exciting evening full of optimism as the architects were able to answer many of our questions and provide a more definitive construction timeline.

So, back to the original question….”When are we going to get started?” If all things go as planned, we will begin moving dirt in late November/early December to prepare for construction of the early childhood building on the northeast side of the existing elementary building. The high school renovation project is anticipated to begin in late Spring of 2019. The most updated plans of both projects can be accessed on our district website at stjschools.org under “Our District” tab and then clicking on “Building Projects Update”. We look forward to breaking ground late this Fall and starting the construction phase of our 2018 Bond Campaign. Thank you for your continued support of our students and community.

Our Fall activity season is well underway with some exciting things occurring with our extra-curricular programs. Please get out and support all our students in the coming weeks as we wind down the fall season and get ready for the winter activities.