Old Gym, New Library

What was once the Beaufort Elementary gym was transformed this summer into a new library. The school left the original roof, but added new walls, lights, furniture and amenities. Beaufort Elementary Principal Kendra Fennessey said she was pleased by the reaction of students to the new space during the grand opening tour Sunday, Aug. 18.  Missourian Photo/Joe Barker.

Construction in the Union R-XI School District is hitting its peak.

Cory Bextermueller, with Navigate Building Solutions, the district’s construction manager for the project, updated the board of education Wednesday night on construction.

Absent from his presentation was the maintenance building project, which is now completed. The central office administrative team is expected to move in this fall.

Bextermueller also said Beaufort Elementary School will not have any updates in the future.

“This is probably the last time you’ll see Beaufort Elementary on here,” Bextermueller said. “Beaufort is pretty much closed out.”

The project closeout documentation is finished and has been sent to the architect. There is one last change order. During the final walkthrough, the fire marshal wanted to add minor things, like additional exit signs, to the school.

In April 2018, voters approved a $27 million bond issue, Prop Wildcats, for the school improvements designed to better handle a population influx.

Navigate Building Solutions is still working on a few other projects stemming from the bond.

Prairie Dell Elementary

The new elementary school is beginning to look like a school. Board members were shown a drone footage of the construction site.

From the video, the structure for the building appears to be in place. The three classroom wings converge near the media center. The cafeteria is centered in the middle of the building next to the gym and central office area.

Bextermueller said that brick is being placed, giving it a “gabled-look” that board members wanted.

“Roofing is currently ongoing,” Bextermueller said. “They have that fly-roofing going on the gym. They are putting the rest of the installation and plywood on the shingle roofs, with shingles being added shortly.”

Curbs are being added to the parking lots. Rock will be added shortly before pavement.

The exterior masonry is between 60-70 percent completed, according to Bextermueller. All masonry is completed on the classroom wings.

Interior walls are being framed in the wings, with one wing nearly complete and one wing halfway done. Mechanical electrical work and plumbing are being added to the wings.

“Really, the big thing here is trying to get this building dry and sealed up to allow us to start working on the inside with the temporary HVAC and put some dry wall in and really seal things up,” Bextermueller said.

Exterior window installation and some parking lot pavement will be upcoming.

Middle School

The building pad for the middle school addition has been set.

“We got through some undocumented fill and bad soil,” Bextermueller said. “We brought it back up with rock. There were quite a few dump trucks bringing rock to bring (the ground) back up. The building pad itself is now up to its final grade and we are digging through to put in footings and foundations.”

The addition will include 12 new classrooms on the west side of the building. The addition is expected to be just under 12,000 square feet.

Bextermueller said that the mechanical electrical and plumbing should be scratched into the building pad.

Workers will begin framing and sheeting exterior walls, with masonry following.

“One thing you might see in the next week or two, is that we are expecting to build a mock-up of an 8x8 wall and start the masonry and prepping to critique the quality before we build it,” Bextermueller said.

New Furniture

In the long term, the next item to finish is choosing a furniture contractor for the middle school addition and new elementary school. At the Aug. 27 board meeting, this was discussed.

The board has moved forward in the bidding process to purchase new furniture.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Mabe told board members at the previous meeting that there were six bids, which have been trimmed down to two vendors: Lakeshore and Color Art.

According to Mabe, Lakeshore sells elementary school furniture, but doesn’t sell furniture for cafeterias, libraries or offices. Color Art has those capabilities.

Both vendors could supply the furniture, but the district will go with whatever is best for the price point, he added.