Replacing Franklin school part of Cape district's facilities plan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

After deliberations and number crunching, Cape Girardeau School District officials decided to include plans to rebuild Franklin Elementary School as it progresses toward a bond issue.

The facilities planning committee met Monday to discuss district construction and renovation plans. Neil Glass, director of administrative services, presented nearly $40 million in projects, including a new 50,000-square-foot elementary school.

"It was by far in the best interest of our students to go with a new school," he said.

Built in 1928, Franklin is the oldest of the district's five elementary schools. As he looked at seismic upgrades and other renovations, Glass said the scope of the project grew.

"Before we knew it, we were at $11.8 million," he said.

Cost estimates for a new two-story building are $10.02 million. Glass said it would be built behind the current building and would include the school's gym.

The replacement is part of the district's facilities plan that outlines projects for a possible bond issue. Glass presented the first draft of the plan in September. About six weeks ago, Glass said he started working with McCarthy Building Cos. to generate more detailed cost estimates. Other improvements include additions at Clippard Elementary, Alma Schrader Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Central Middle School, Central Junior High School and Central High School.

The plan outlined $14.57 million in projects at the high school, including 16 classrooms, a 750-seat auditorium and an event complex.

Even with the additional classrooms, space will be tight, said high school principal Dr. Mike Cowan.

"We were out of space day one out there," Cowan said.

The plan outlined $7.16 million in alternative projects, including six more high school classrooms, visitor seating at the event complex, and acoustic and lighting improvements at most of the elementary school gyms. The alternatives would be added if money becomes available during the bidding and construction process, Glass said.

The $39.88 million plan also includes 12 percent in contingency and escalation for possible shifts in labor costs and material prices.

Other districtwide projects, which are estimated to cost $2.4 million, include security cameras, door security mechanisms and roof replacements.

The plan includes roof replacements at Alma Schrader, Jefferson and Clippard, new boilers in some buildings and electrical upgrades. Addressing maintenance issues through a bond issue will free operational funds, said superintendent Dr. Jim Welker.

"There is a cost if we don't pass a bond issue," he said.

The school board will review the plan during a work session at the Dec. 14 meeting. Welker said the district can move forward with a bond issue as high as $43 million without increasing the tax rate.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

301 N. Clark Ave. Cape Girardeau, MO

Cape Girardeau School District facility plan recommendations

Alma Schrader Elementary$2.23 million
Clippard Elementary$4.57 million
Franklin Elementary$10.02 million
Jefferson Elementary$2.63 million
Central Middle School$1.08 million
Central Junior High School$2.33 million
Central High School$14.57 million
Districtwide projects$2.4 million
Total$39.88 million
Alternate projects$7.16 million

Map of pertinent addresses

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