After months of negotiating, the Union R-XI School District hopes to nail down the purchase of new furniture soon.

The board of education approved two measures at its Jan. 15 related to the furniture purchase. The board authorized the district to spend up to $400,000 for furniture for the new Prairie Dell Elementary and up to $90,000 for furniture at Union Middle School.

The district will be buying both sets from Color Art, St. Louis.

The district said it’s “very confident” both purchases would come in under budget. The $400,000 and $90,000 amounts are the budgeted amounts for the furniture.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Mabe said the styles have been decided and the district is nearly ready to order. He said prices are locked in until the end of February.

Not wanting to wait until the next month’s board meeting for approval, the district went ahead and asked the board to approve the “not to exceed” measures. This way, the district can move forward and order what it needs under the locked-in prices and can ensure on-time delivery.

For Prairie Dell Elementary, the district is going with two different styles of classroom furniture. In the kindergarten through second-grade classrooms, the students will sit at tables. There will be two students at a table.

The tables can be arranged in various ways, including in a circle with space for six students. The tables are expected to cost $6,345 each per classroom.

For the third- to fifth-grade classrooms, the tables will be for single students. The tables are triangle shaped and can be shaped into rows and circles.

Each room of tables is expected to cost $7,785.

Board members said they liked the furniture choices. Amy Hall, a teacher in the Rockwood School District, said she was a fan. 

Color choices are still to be determined. 

Other Items

Also at the meeting, the board approved an agreement with Immaculate Conception School.

The deal allows seventh- and eight-grade students at IC to join the track and field teams. The district has similar deals with IC for football, cross country and wrestling.

Immaculate Conception does not offer those programs, so the agreements give the students a chance to participate in sports.

Board president Virgil Weideman said he’s in favor of the idea. With a sport like track and field, the rosters can be fairly large. He said the IC student wouldn’t be taking the place of any Union kids.

The board unanimously approved the agreement.

The board also unanimously backed an off-campus location for the annual prom.

Every year, the board has to agree to having prom moved off campus. Union High School Principal Amy Kain said the district is targeting April 18 at the Union City Hall Auditorium for the event.

The district has held prom at the auditorium the last several years. Last year, a group of students tried to push an alternate location, but the plan didn’t go forward.

Finally, the board approved a measure to allow board secretary Lisa Delmain to submit the names of candidates for the upcoming election. The names for board of education candidates will be sent to Franklin County when filing closes so the district can be on the ballot for the election.

Filing closed Tuesday, Jan. 21, after The Missourian’s press time. Four candidates had already declared prior to the last day of filing so an election will be held.

Incumbents Virgil L. Weideman, Amy K. Hall and Aaron P. Bockhorst all have signed up to stay on the board. Newcomer Richard A. Morrow also filed meaning that for the first time since 2017, there will be a race for the Union R-XI Board of Education.