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The Intermediate School addition is nearing completion. The project is currently 6 to 8 weeks ahead of schedule and is expected to be complete around Jan. 26.

"Mother nature helped a lot," Architect Bruce Dell of Hoener Associates, Inc. said. "It might be a week or two later. We are waiting on delivery of a few things."

The dry fall months allowed construction crews to continue their work on the project without any delays due to rain or wet grounds. 

"The biggest snag was the fire hydrants when we first got started," Superintendent Brett Reutzel said. "Due to the added square footage, in order to be up to code, we had to get another fire hydrant back here."

The building addition contains 13 classrooms and two restrooms with the building designed so, if more room was needed in particular classrooms, a wall could be removed to increase their size. 

"We borrowed three million to do the job knowing that it would be more than enough but wanted to be sure," Reutzel said. "It's going to come right in around two million and that's just a number it may be a little less than that or a little more. There is actually going to be a little left over to allow us to upgrade the heating and air in the rest of the building."

"The rest of the building has what I call 'motel wall units,' and we probably lose half a dozen units a year or more, and they are hard to get and hard to repair," Reutzel said. "So with the money we have left over we are hoping to ugrade to the VRV systems (like the new addition), which are a lot more energy efficient."

Reutzel said the need for added space came when the off-site school located at the church burned down. It served around 100 students. The district had to have a place for them to go.

"The original idea was to rent modular units until the addition could be completed," Reutzel said. "Once we looked into it, renting was going to cost us the same as leasing them."

The fifth grade classes are currently located in the modular units next to the school building.

Once the classes are moved into the new addition, the modular units will be sold. Reutzel said there has been a lot of interest in the units already, and he does not feel they will be difficult to sell.

"I'd like to think the end of February, beginning of March we will be having classes in here (new addition)," Reutzel said. 

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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