About 30 additional parking spaces have been added to the gymnasium parking lot at Lonedell School in an effort to accommodate larger crowds for events there.
Lonedell R-XIV School District Superintendent Jen Ulrich updated board of education members on the project during their September meeting.
In July, Ulrich and the board discussed expanding, improving and even paving the lot, which was added when the gymnasium was built about three years ago. Oftentimes during some of the district’s larger events, such as graduation, concerts and athletic events, there is not adequate parking at the school.
The parking lot is immediately west of the gym. Directly to the north is the track. The school and its other parking areas are to the south.
Originally during the July 31 meeting, Ulrich brought up paving the lot, saying she could put together a request for bids for the project. That led to a discussion about seeing if it is possible first to expand the area to allow for additional parking.
Board President Kathy Reed suggested local contractor Josh Dace be contacted to see if expanding the parking lot even is a possibility. Ulrich said Dace did the work on the existing lot.
Ulrich contacted Dace, and a deal was worked out for him to level and expand the lot. Ulrich said the quote for the project was for $9,770, which included additional gravel as well as cleanup.
“We added about 7,500 square feet, or about one-third more space,” Ulrich told The Missourian. “We also took out a tree and widened the turn where the new lot connects to the old to improve traffic flow and make the turn conducive to bus traffic.”
The superintendent said gravel was added on the new portion of the lot.
“We estimate that the added space will equate to at least 30 more parking spaces,” she said.
As far as paving the lot, Ulrich said that has been put on hold to at least next year.
The board also discussed improved lighting for the gym lot. Currently, Ulrich said, the lights mounted near the front of the gym basically shine downward near the main entrance, leaving most of the lot in the dark.
Two options were mentioned — switching the current fixtures to something more “open-faced” or mounting additional lights on the roof.
The open-faced option could allow more light to shine on the actual lot. The board agreed that may be the best first option to pursue instead of running wiring to the roof for the additional lights.
A price quote will be sought on the replacement lights.
“I feel if the price is reasonable, it would be a good first step prior to mounting lights on the roof,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich also mentioned the nature trail on the school property, saying parts of it are in poor condition.
“I am looking into costs for culvert pipes, gravel and overall cleanup of the trail,” she told board members. “I would like to fix this before the ground gets frozen this winter.”
The superintendent also said the district is grateful for the trail, and “I would like to keep it in good working condition.”
Finally, as far as facilities, Ulrich said water drainage from the guttering from the air-conditioning units stationed on the roof of the newer gym is washing out the ground and hillside on the north side and to a lesser degree on the south side between the gym and school.
“When there is heavy water flow, you can see where it is washing back in the drain grids and draining toward the building,” she said. “Over the long term, this could cause an issue.”
Ulrich said she plans to look into costs associated with adding underground drainage to those areas.