Plans to revamp and move the counselor area at St. Clair High School have been delayed as R-XIII school district Superintendent Mike Murphy said school officials currently are working with City Inspector Jeremy Crowe to get all the necessary paperwork completed.

During the December R-XIII board of education meeting, Murphy said he was hopeful work on the project could begin over the holiday break. The most difficult portion of the project will be cutting four new doors into the block- and brick-lined main hallway across the entrance area of the office.

Murphy said that at a minimum that portion of the work needs to be done during non-school hours because of the noise and disruption that would take place.

Crowe told The Missourian last week that before work can begin, the school district needs to submit a set of plans for the project.

“These plans must be drawn by a registered design professional of the state of Missouri,” he said. “After review and approval of the plans, a (building) permit can be issued and work can begin.”

Murphy said that process could take a few weeks.

In December, the board of education approved spending about $26,000 from its capital projects fund to relocate the counselors office.

“The space currently is inadequate for our guidance office,” Murphy said at the time. “We’re seeking a pretty good short-term decision here that also may serve us in the long term.”

Currently, the guidance office is located in a converted classroom west of the main office. The change will move the office east of the main office in front of the choir room.

Sketched plans shown to board members included six potential new offices, a reception area and a conference room. Special education rooms also will move east closer to the cafeteria.

The first order of business will be to cut the four new doorways. Once that is done, crews would be able to continue to work in the enclosed areas being converted. If those noise levels would interfere with the education process, the work would have to be done after school or on Saturdays, Murphy said.

The price tag includes the cost to cut the four new doorways, four additional interior office doors, fire alarms and intercoms, drop ceilings and lighting and heating-air conditioning upgrades including individual climate controls.

The total approximate cost for all the work is $25,900. That price does not include the professional plans.

St. Clair Fire Marshal Craig Sullivan has approved the project.

Murphy said the relocation would double the amount of space for guidance counselors Jena Carroll and Amy Click. It also would provide increased privacy for individual conferences to occur. The old guidance office will be converted back to a classroom.

The goal is to have the project completed by the time registration begins in the spring.