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West County Board Meets

Attentive West County School Board members listen to a representative from Hoener Associates Inc. explain preliminary plans to expand the elementary school building. (Dan Schunks)

Discusses future expansion


With an eye to the future, the West County School Board listened to proposals and questions regarding an expansion to their Frankclay elementary campus Thursday evening.

Representatives from Hoener Associates, an architectural firm based in St. Louis, presented preliminary plans to expand the current elementary building, completed in 1977. The expanded building would contain classrooms for fourth and fifth grade, which are currently housed in the 1938, WPA-constructed building. The fifth-grade rooms would also be built to serve as a storm shelter for the students in the building.

While there was no vote taken at this time, the general consensus among the board was that the expansion was necessary to meet the future educational needs of the West County community.

There were also conversations dealing with improving traffic flow around the elementary complex, with hopes for, at some point, a road to connect the elementary school to the middle and high school complex. The road would allow buses to only enter Highway M at one place.

The preliminary plans call for a new main entrance to the elementary building with new offices for the building administrators. Also included in this phase was a renovation of the current gym in the old building.

The price for this expansion would be approximately $6.8 million. If a new gym were to be added as well, the cost would increase to $8.5 million, but for now, the gym is considered part of a “phase two” plan.

Complete artist renderings of the proposal will be available for the November board meeting. Tentatively, a bond issue would be placed on the April ballot, if all parameters are met.

In other actions, the board raised substitute teacher pay from $75 to $100 a day for uncertified and $80 to $110 a day for certified teachers. Student lunch prices were increased 10 cents a meal across the district. In grades K-5, Renaissance Assessment will be used to track academic progress. This program is currently in use throughout the rest of the district.

The next West County School Board meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the Central Office. Hoener Associates Inc. will be present to update the board and public on the progress and planning for the proposed new addition.

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