The base, steel and roof decking for the new library and media center at Osage City Elementary have been completed, while remodeling projects continue inside.
Jeremy Gaston | Managing Editor
OSAGE CITY—Despite significant weather delays to the track and field project, project organizers still believe there’s time to have Osage City High School’s new football field ready for its first game Sept. 13.
“We’re right on track to get that done,” said Kenton Cox, of Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture. “We’ve had a lot of rain, but we’re still making good progress. We’re scheduled to start pouring ribbon around the track Monday and irrigation is scheduled to be run to the field and in the field, which is a critical piece in getting ready for sod.”
Cox and Bill Simms of McPherson Construction, the project’s manager, believed that if sod was placed between July 14 and 27, it would be ready for the first game six weeks later. Seating and lighting would be completed in between, with
the finishing track surface sprayed on after the start of the fall season.
Encouraging progress has been seen in the elementary remodeling and addition. Since the end of the school year, crews have completed demolition of old walls, removal of asbestos, and upgrade of the sewer, which had to be completely replaced in areas due to being buried too deep.
“We’re putting up the brick veneer, windows and steel on the library addition,” Cox said. “Things are going really well there. There’s a lot of work to be done, but things are changing pretty fast.”
Cox and the board continued plans to tighten strings on the new gym and storm shelter, focusing on the size of the connecting link between Homewood Gymnasium and the middle school. Board member Todd Petersonreturned to a suggestion to use the north end of the gym for part of the hallway to reduce cost.
“I think it’s less of a hindrance,” said Osage City High School Principal Tony Heward. “If you’re going to distract a class, physical education would be the one to do. There could be some traffic through there, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”
The gym itself would be built to the structural standard of FEMA code, but without federal dollars, the project would cut out pieces like independent water and electrical systems required for FEMA funding and designed for long-term shelter needs, such as riding out a hurricane.
“It looks to us, if we’re going to proceed on, we’re going to have to do without $600,000 of FEMA funding,” Cox said. “We want to assure everybody that structurally this will be up to FEMA standards, and be able to resist the biggest tornadoes we know about.”
The board continued progress on the project by unanimously approving design drawings and bid letting for the stadium restrooms, concession area and parking lot; approving a motion to accept bids for the heating and air conditioning for the fourth- and fifth-grade wing of the elementary; and a motion to approve seeding or sodding of the football field if it can be completed in time for the season.
In other business, the board:
• discussed the treasurer’s report with superintendent Troy Hutton. Hutton said the district looked to end the fiscal year with around $50,000 in the budget.
“We’re not ending the year in great shape, but we’re not ending in the red,” Hutton said. “We’ll have to make a decision as to whether to use reserve money, or use next year’s money to pay for requisitions.”
Hutton was working with building administrators to further tighten requisitions for the 2013-14 school year.
• approved by consensus the continued use of certified athletic trainer Brad Perry.
• approved a contract with Tony’s Tire and Auto to inspect the school’s buses at $75 apiece.
• approved an escalating and deescalating milk bid from Osage Dairy.
• approved handbook changes, with inclusions of a policy to confiscate cell phones used during the day, and a policy to not allow students to take dual credit for classes offered during the school day.
• recognized three-term USD 420 Board Member Pat Bean, who completed his final term at the meeting.
• offered a teaching contract to Collene Stucky to teach second grade and Anne Chipman to teach first grade. The board offered supplemental contracts to Chipman as assistant volleyball coach; Darcy Keefe as high school cross country coach; Cody Liebelt as high school girls’ basketball coach; and a bus contract to Alan Carlson.
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