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Building project bids are within budget at R-3

by Jalana Robinson
Landmark reporter

Platte County R-3 School District's plans of expansion have the green light after a building project bid approval.

The project is in reference to the 2001 bond issue passed by voters last year.

The plans are to build six additional classroom at Siegrist Elementary; eight additional classrooms, a new media center, computer lab and office suite at Paxton School; and to join the middle school and the high school with a music room.

The district's board members met at a regular session on Thursday to review the bids submitted, and although they will have to receive a rebid on the asphalt and the casework, the project was found to be within the budget at nearly $6.5 million.

"The project is right on budget," said Platte County Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst.

He also said that crews should begin ground work in mid to late September.

The board also approved to set the 2001-2002 levy at $4.09, an increase of less than one cent from last year.

Dr. Harpst said that $3.42 goes to the operating fund and that $.67 is for the bond issue.

He also announced that tentative enrollment for the school is at about 2,150 students.
"Probably right now we're up about 80 kids," said Dr. Harpst comparing to last year.

He said that the biggest growth has come at the Platte City Middle School and Barry School.

The board also discussed plans to move forward with the collaborative softball field project. The ground has already been broken for the field north of Siegrist Elementary School and to the west of the existing ball field.

Dr. Harpst said that the board approved plans for a concession stand, press box and picnic shelter, and is looking at possibly adding stadium seats in the future.

In other action, the board:

•Reviewed the sick leave pool policy and approved to replace the long term disabilities and channel that money into health insurance premiums. About $180 extra a year will be put toward the insurance premiums that employees won't have to pay.

In exchange employees can voluntarily give unused sick and personal days into the sick leave pool to replace the long term disabilities fund.

•Heard that a Central Platte County Community Center steering committee will meet on Sept. 5, to discuss the proposed center. Dr. Harpst said that the YMCA has offered to operate the center.

•Set 2001-2002 goals. The board approved to continue to emphasize academic success; pursue land acquisition for future building; continue improving salary, benefits and other intangible aspects for all employees; and continue working collaboratively with the city, county and other community entities to provide the best educational opportunities.

•Heard that a total of 375 students attended summer school.

•Employed the following:
Debbie Grundy, English teacher at Barry; Tammy Enna, Alex Courtney, Shyla Crawford, Robyn Dearing, to help with the adventure club; Clayton Slipke, as a painter; Morris Smith, as a bus driver; Sue Kauffman-Jackson, Siegrist school nurse; Jennifer Pilcher, special education paraprofessional; Mary Reeder and Marilyn Daniels as both paraprofessionals, and Donald Day as a custodian and maintenance personnel.

•The board received resignations from Kathy Vonada from the cafeteria, and Cheryl Smock from the adventure club.

•Approved to change the next board meeting to Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Central office; and the following board meeting to be on Tuesday, Oct. 16.