Scott County Central's construction under way

Sunday, September 12, 2004
Dave Hobbs and Denson Boner, employees of Boner Masonry of Bloomfield, build a wall for the new addition.

SIKESTON -- Students and faculty of the Scott County Central School District may have to endure a little construction this school year, but the finished product will definitely be worth it.

"When we had our open house (when school began), I think people were really surprised at how fast it's going," said Scott County Central Superintendent JoAnne Northern. "I know the town coffee shop has been passing pictures around, and I think they're surprised at how far we are."

Last April, nearly 65 percent of the voters in the Scott County Central School District approved the $1.9 million bond issue to construct, equip and furnish additional classrooms, restrooms and storage space to develop a separate junior high school wing and to construct, equip and furnish a new gymnasium.

Construction began in mid-July, and already the classroom expansion of the school's preschool program, Scott Central Early Learning Center, is complete.

The junior high wing has its walls up, and just last week ground was broken for the new gym.

The completed junior high wing will include four classrooms, new lockers, restrooms and storage space for the seventh and eighth graders.

"It's very crowded in our halls right now, but (when the building is complete) socially it will be a lot better environment for the students," Northern said.

Students have already been transitioning into the idea of having their own wing, Northern pointed out.

"They already have separate lunches and lockers from the high school students. This will give them more of their own territory so they won't be mixed in with the juniors and seniors," Northern explained.

Junior high staff and students are excited about having their own area, Northern said.

"We're hoping to make these rooms with the latest technology complete with SMART boards and projectors. It will be top-notched and wireless capable," she explained.

The new gymnasium will be added on to the south side of the existing gym. It will be air-conditioned unlike the current one and will hold 1,100 spectators. Since the new gym will sit on current parking space, parking areas will also be reset.

In addition to the new gym, the old gym's lockers will be renovated and two additional locker rooms will be built so the school can host basketball tournaments, Northern said. A weight room for weight lifting classes will be constructed, and the old gym will be used for physical education classes and for other purposes.

Also new to the district this -- although it wasn't a part of the bond issue -- is a metal pavilion which was recently built on the playground as result of funding donated by the PTO, Northern pointed out.

Although school has been in session less than a month, the construction noise and debris hasn't really impacted the students' or faculty's own work, Northern noted.

"Really where the (new) junior high is at isn't an area where kids travel through. Some students can see the construction going on through some of the windows in classrooms, but it's not really distracting to them," Northern said.

The junior high's projected date of completion is around Christmas, while the new gym is expected to be finished before the 2005-2006 school year.

"We're hoping to move into the junior high wing after Christmas break," Northern said.

Scott Central's last renovation occurred in the late 1990s when they added four classrooms to the elementary school.

Northern noted the school's Web site as a great resource for the public to check out the progress of the renovations.

"We update it every day," she said. "People can get on there and see the pictures."

To view updates of the district's renovation, visit its Web site at

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