R-9 reveals renovation plans

Planning is under way for the Harrisonville School District for improvements and updates to district facilities as a result of voter approval of Propositions I and N in June.

Last summer, the board of education selected Hollis & Miller architecture firm and Newkirk Novak construction management firm to oversee new projects. District and building administrators meet weekly with representatives from both companies.

Projects are organized by building and will move forward in phases. The initial projects will begin at Cass Career Center, the Early Childhood Center, Harrisonville Middle School and Harrisonville Elementary School.

In addition to bond funding, grant monies will expand the scope of projects at the Cass Career Center. A new practical nursing lab, funded by a CARES Act grant, will be added to the facility. The lab will include four patient rooms and a conference area. This project will be the first to get underway because it is funded by grant money and will be required to meet specific timeframes.

Additionally at the Cass Career Center, the welding, agriculture and fire science areas will be renovated. The front office will also be remodeled to provide a secure entrance and a new classroom space will be added for expanded programming as well.

The Early Childhood Center projects are focused on creating a secure entry and office space alongside an expanded kitchen facility. On the exterior of the building, work will include a reconfiguration of the playground and parking lots. A sidewalk awning will be added that will connect ECC to HMS and will provide cover for students who are loading and unloading from cars and buses.

At HMS, work will primarily focus on increasing the kitchen and cafeteria space which will require the counseling offices to be relocated. Flex spaces for small group learning will be added to hallways throughout the building.

Both propositions were brought to voters after community input through the blueprint survey administered in the fall of 2019 and the district’s strategic planning process.

The improvements at the CCC address the challenges cited by survey respondents which are to prepare all students for opportunities after graduation and to continue to provide a variety of academic opportunities to meet the needs of all students.

Playground reconfiguration at ECC and secure entrances at both ECC and CCC meet another challenge by maintaining and improving the safety and security of the facilities. Secure entrances are also on the list for HES and Harrisonville High School and these entrances will require visitors to enter the front office before gaining access to the school.

Earlier in the school year, another safety challenge was addressed at McEowen Elementary School with bond funding when a fence was added to the perimeter of the school’s playground.

Proposition I was a 50-cent operating levy increase for the purpose of attracting and retaining quality staff through salary increases. Proposition N was a no-tax rate increase bond issue for $22.7 million for funds to meet needs within the district, including the improvement of safety and security, HVAC units, boilers, technology, playgrounds and the completion of repairs and improvements identified in the facility needs assessment. The passage of Proposition N resulted in a 10-cent debt service levy rollback.


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