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School approves new surface on stadium field

The Farmington R-7 School Board took the first step toward a new high school outdoor athletic facilities by approving the issue of lease purchase agreements in the amount of $887,000 for a new synthetic playing surface on the stadium field and expansion of the current six-lane track to eight lanes.

A stadium renovation committee was put together last year. The committee was a cross-section of the Farmington community, comprised of local business persons, district personnel, and community members.

During a special public hearing on the project held just prior to the regular monthly meeting, the board heard from committee members, coaches — both current and retired, students, as well as members of the community expressing their support for the project. Renovations will enable the field to be used in all types of weather and will be more conducive to a variety of uses.

Bids had been submitted for the work and approval was given to award the general construction work to Renegade Construction for $212,000, the synthetic turf for the field to Sportexe for $355,000 and the track surface work to DeFargo for $149,295. Lead Belt Materials will provide the asphalt for the two additional track lanes at a cost not to exceed $45,000.

Chip Peterson, co-chair of the committee with Keith Hutson, expressed his thanks to the board and the community for the support of this project. Hutson had been appointed fund-raising chairman and at the meeting, Peterson said more than $500,000 had already been committed.

“This new facility will be able to lend to the educational process without a negative impact on the classroom,” Peterson said.

Dr. W. L. Sanders, superintendent, said the input from the community on this project has been positive.

“There has been so much positive involvement. In my time in education, I’ve never witnessed anything like this,” he said.

The board also approved the establishment of two new bank accounts for this project.

Following the conclusion of the public hearing, the board held its regular monthly meeting. The Heartland Hero for February was awarded to Tracy Maize by Washington-Franklin Elementary Principal Angie Winch. Maize is a parent volunteer who staffs the school’s “Dolphin Dollar’s” store. Winch said Maize and her husband, Lester are very involved with their three children’s education.

“Tracy is always very cheerful,” said Winch.

The Wal-Mart Featured Teacher award was presented to Mo Massie, a teacher in the district’s gifted-student PAGES program. Winch also presented the award to Massie.

“She is a fine example of the teaching profession and is always willing to help out,” said Winch.

The board heard a number of reports during the evening. Elementary students presented examples of their reading and writing work in the classrooms. First grader Braydon Slade read his story on Dr. Martin Luther King, second grader Hunter Thompson read his work “Running from Cupid”, third graders Aaron Maize talked of the steps to putting together a story while Brady Woddell read his work “Mystery Box”, and fourth grader Madison Silvey read her journal entry from “The Oregon Trail”.

“These students remind us what we’re all about,” said Dr. Sanders.

The board also heard a report on the bus fleet receiving a 100 percent safety rating; 12 district employees signing up for the Retirement Incentive Plan; federal programs report as well as the January student count and free/reduced lunch eligible pupil count.

The board also heard a report from Dr. David Waters, high school principal, on the school receiving word it was named one of the top ten schools in the state with students moving into the proficient and advanced levels on MAP test for tenth grade students. He also informed the board of the girl’s varsity cross country, all volleyball teams and the girl’s varsity golf being named to the Missouri State High School Activities Association “Outstanding Scholastic Achievement”. The girls’ varsity softball and boys’ varsity soccer received “Distinguished Scholastic Achievement”.

A report was also given by Kim Weakley from the Parents as Teachers program on what the program provides to parents of preschool age children in the district, giving that first link to the district.

In new business, the board heard reports from building administrators on the advisory committee meetings held in the buildings. The board also heard a report on the 2005-06 calendar for both the district and Midwest Learning Center. Both have been placed on a 30-day review.

The board will hold its next monthly meeting on March 15 at district offices.

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