Meramec Valley School District officials are reviewing between $4 and $6 million in improvements at Pacific High School that could be carried out over a five-year period.
Superintendent Randy George presented some details of possible improvements to school board members at their Dec. 20 meeting.
The district architect prepared a three-phase improvement plan that adds classrooms, a new cafeteria, new food service, new main entrance, new administrative suite and a new corridor.
“This is all the improvements the district wants to accomplish at the high school building,” George said. “The unanswered questions are where the expansion is to start, square feet of improvements and the final cost.”
School board members were handed out improvement plans titled A1, A2 and A4.
“This is a wish list and our goal is to see if we can get all the work done at a magic number,” George said.
In the existing building, officials are looking to relocate the administrative space into a new administrative suite that would include an expanded nurse sick room and guidance counselor’s offices.
The plan would retrofit the entry next to offices and vestibules.
“We would lose some parking spaces, which doesn’t seem to be a problem,” George said. “We will bump up against the setback line and would need a variance from the city.”
The superintendent said he and the building service team are looking at how the district would look at future expansion.
“There have been a lot of additions to the existing high school building with no master plan on how to grow this building, the educational facilities and how to run from administrative offices,” George said.
The proposed improvement work would be completed as funding is available and would depend on continued approval of future boards and future administrations.
“One thing I want to stress, we’re not here to reduce the number of classrooms,” George said.
Looking at all the possible expansion plans would improve the use of the building, the cost is up in the range of $6.5 million, according to Bruce Dell, Hoener Associates, the district architect.
“Mr. George thinks my numbers are high,” Dell said. “But the estimates are based on our understanding of the scope of work plus expectation of quality and type of building needed.”
Among work described in the A2 plan are a new cafeteria, new food service, relocation of the main entrance and renovation of the locker rooms and offices. Classrooms would stay as they are currently.
“Currently, the nurse is located remotely from the general office, which is not good functional operation,” George said. “We’d want to expand the nurses office with an area for cots for a sick room.”
Guidance offices, which can function remotely better than the nurses office, would stay in its current location.
The third plan, titled A4, which looks down the road five to 10 years, would finish Prop M and might go into the next bond issue.
“At present, we have an auditorium that doesn’t fit our needs,” George said. “Chris (Delmain, director of support services), Tom (Sauvage, PHS principal) and I still need more discussions on that.”
George said his goal is for the budget for all the improvements to come in at $4.9 million.
Another option would be for just the renovation of locker rooms, which could be done by Delmain and the district maintenance staff.
“It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the high school building effective and efficient,” George said. Talks will continue on the most practical, cost-effective and achievable improvements to meet that goal, he said.