The St. Clair R-XIII School Board will announce a chosen architect firm that will design the district’s long-range facility improvement plan later this week.
Earlier this year, the school board interviewed architectural firms including Chiodini Architects, FGM Architects Inc., Porter Berendzen & Associates and Ittner Architects Inc.
Superintendent Kyle Kruse told The Missourian that if an agreement can be worked out during a closed session Thursday, Dec. 14, it will be announced during the regular board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.
The chosen design firm would create a long-range facility plan for the district’s campuses from five to 20 years in the future.
The main improvements needed are safety and security at each building and parking. Some other repairs include the high school gym bleachers, football stadium bleachers and air-conditioning and heating systems.
The district’s “newest” building is St. Clair Elementary, which was built in 1983. In 2003, there was an addition built.
Edgar Murray Elementary is the second-oldest building, which was constructed in 1961 with an addition built in 2003.
The junior high is the oldest building, which was built in 1953. There were major renovations made to the junior high after a catastrophic fire in 1968.
The high school building was constructed in 1968 and there have been several additions since then.
After the board decides on an architect, board members will be reaching out to teachers, administrators and the community for input on the plan.
Once a good plan is in place, the board may decide to ask voters in 2019 to finance a portion of the project through a no-tax increase bond issue.
Kruse said the first item on the to-do list would to be design a new press box at the top of the football stadium bleachers. It was recently removed due to structural issues.
One item that is currently being replaced is the retaining wall that separates the softball field and the track. Kruse said the retaining wall, which was made out of railroad ties, was failing. The retaining wall was built approximately 30 to 40 years ago.
One of the dugouts leans up against the retaining wall, and the wall was collapsing on the dugout, according to Kruse. All of the games this past season have been played at Iron Hill Sports Complex.
The retaining wall is being replaced with concrete bricks. The company US Lawns was approved at the October board meeting to do the job for a total of $48,228.20, according to Kruse.
“It’s a pretty big project,” he said.
The retaining wall will be finished before softball season starts back up next fall.