North Platte officially looking to build new junior high

DEARBORN, Mo. — The North Platte R-1 Board of Education voted to approve a schedule for upcoming construction projects, a plan which includes a new junior high school building.

During a regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21, representatives from Incite Design Studio presented two different schedules to the board. The district’s hired architecture firm showed plans for the construction of a new junior high school. 

The first option put work to begin in spring of 2018 and before the end of 2019 while the second option shows work beginning in early 2017 and finish early 2018. Both schedules take into consideration the entire process from conception of the building, school board and public input on the project to demolition of the existing facility and construction of the new school.

The board chose the first option because members wanted to ensure that the contractors take their time and do the job properly the first time and not rush through the project. Board members were also concerned about disturbing the students as little as possible since both options require temporary classrooms to be setup for at least a year. 

To help fund this project, the board is in the process of writing ballot language for the upcoming April general municipal  election. The no-tax-increase proposition asks for $6.2 million for the replacement of the junior high along with replacement of the roof on the elementary school in Camden Point, Mo. and other remodeling projects that are able to be completed with available funds.

A long range planning committee started earlier this year attempted to prioritize the needs of the district facilities. A request for qualifications was sent out to several architectural firms, and 10 companies responded. 

The district began looking at potential renovations or replacement of the junior high school in Dearborn, Mo. as the largest part of the plan. The junior high school is the oldest portion of the high school/junior high campus and the original high school.

The board also discussed the 2015-2016 audit in which there were no major findings. The only item that was noted was a lack of segregation of duties which is because of a lack of staff that could result in errors in the district which is common for a school district of its size, fortunately no irregularities were found.