Work underway at both construction sites for R-3 elementaries

Contributed photo Pathfinder Elementary students recently decorated the skirting of the Manning Construction trailer on the school’s site in Kansas City, Mo. The Platte County School District’s construction projects at two different sites continue to run slightly behind schedule but not enough to cause concern at this point.

During the regular meeting Thursday, Oct. 15, the board received an update and approved a bid for another piece in the Pathfinder Elementary expansion. The new elevator even came in under budget, adding to the optimism for having both elementary schools ready for occupation prior to the 2016-17 school year.

“I think last month we told you that we had concerns about the timeline but not hitting the panic button yet,” Platte County superintendent Dr. Mike Reik said. “I still believe in our deployment plan that will allow us to catch up on our schedule.

“Not hitting any panic buttons right now. It’s a never-ending process all the way to completion.”

Work at Pathfinder Elementary in the southern portion of the district recently started after some delays due to permitting. The board also approved the bid of ThyssenKrupp Elevator America for just under $50,000 for the installation of the elevator on site.

Previously, the district did not receive any bids but managed to acquire ThyssenKrupp for under the budgeted amount.

Grading and other initial preparations have been made for the Pathfinder addition, which will include 14 classrooms, a multipurpose room and additional parking to increase the student capacity by 280 students.  Manning Construction project manager Daniel Foye said during his update at the meeting that he believes the process will start to move forward quickly. He noted that the kids have shown a lot of curiosity, and Manning Construction even let them decorate the skirting of the on-site trailer with hand prints.

“They didn’t just put their hands on there. You have some birds, obviously some Kansas City Royals stuff,” he said. “It just warms your heart to see the kids out there. They’re going to be the ones in the building, and they’re standing at the fence every day waiting for mom, looking at it — eager to watch us build it.

“It’s good to get them involved just a little bit while it’s still safe for them.”

At the site of the new school in Platte City recently dubbed Compass Elementary, masonry work, the first bathrooms and a 16-foot retaining wall have sprung up in recent weeks. The site averages about 40 to 50 workers per day currently with work going on up to six days a week.

Manning and the district have utilized overtime hours when necessary — within approved limitations — to help keep project moving along. They still hope to have the building sealed before winter so that work can continue during the adverse conditions.

“We are trying to be careful about when we use overtime, but if it can help us to keep things moving, we’re definitely trying to do that,” Reik said.

Both elementary school projects are part of a $29 million capital improvement project district voters approved last April in the general municipal election. The construction of Compass Elementary serves as the centerpiece of the plan along with renovations and improvements at Paxton School and Pathfinder Elementary.