Board Approves $2.95 Million Stadium Pacakage
The landscape of the Clinton County R-III School District underwent a major change, both figuratively and literally, as the CCR-III Board of Education accepted a stadium construction bid by B. Dean Construction and selected Mark Coulter as the newest board member on Wednesday, September 18. This past April, the voters in the school district passed overwhelmingly a $7 million bond issue to secure the entries on all three school buildings ($1.1 million), upgrades at Ellis Elementary ($2.5 million), a connection corridor between Plattsburg High School and Clinton County Middle School with a new access road ($1 million) and completion of the new track and football field ($2.4 million). The base bid from B. Dean Construction of Lee’s Summit for the football and track stadium was $2.689 million, a slightly higher figure (by an additional $289,000) than when the bond issue was presented to the public. With the alternatives approved by the board, the total cost on the second round of stadium construction is $2.95 million. Their base bid was lower that Allison and Alexander, Inc. at $2.8 million and Universal Construction Company, Inc. at $2.75 million. The base bid includes the following: Stadium grandstand; a prefabricated three-section press box; a 2,300 sq. ft. fieldhouse with concessions, restrooms, storage and more; a Vision Board scoreboard; connecting existing parking lots; track and field equipment and other basic needs for the stadium. Additionally, six alternative add-ons were presented for board approval. The board approved chair seating with the ‘P’ logo in the middle of the grandstand, an additional 300 seats in the grandstand (bringing the total seating to 1,500), an additional sidewalk that will circle the entire track, and 300 seats for visitor seating. Representatives from Hollis and Miller answered questions about the bid and Superintendent Dr. Sandy Steggall said the alternates would not be paid for from bond proceeds, but from the district’s capital improvements fund, which currently has a balance of over $500,000. David Dow motioned for approval of the bid and alternates and Corey Wilkinson seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously, 6-0. Completion of the stadium project is expected in March 2020. Dr. Steggall said the remaining projects would be bid in January and construction could be completed before school begins in the fall of 2020. The board considered two applicants to replace Jennifer Turley on the board. Turley resigned recently when the issue of potential dual-residency was raised. Mark Coulter and Craig Graham both applied for the vacancy with both unsuccessfully seeking election to the board this past April. Mark Coulter placed third in the election and Craig Graham – a former board member – was fourth. Before the interview began in open session, the board first had to vote to override their policy, which called for an interview session and then vote at the next board meeting. Both candidates agreed to the change and the board voted 6-0 for a one-time policy change. Mark Coulter said he and his wife moved to Plattsburg eight years ago with plans to serve as the assistant Clinton County Prosecutor. A position in Kansas City with the Port Authority changed those plans, but not his residency in Plattsburg. He and his wife have three daughters, ages three, five and seven. Board president Sam Martin asked a few of questions of the interviewees. One question dealt with how they would react if a board vote did not go as he would have liked. Mr. Coulter said he understood from previous experiences on boards how votes could go. He said he didn’t want to be blindsided by issues, and the idea would be to learn and grow from the situation. He was asked if he would run for re-election to the board in April if he was appointed. He said he would. Craig Graham began his opening statement with the fact he has lived his entire life in Plattsburg. All of his five children have or will graduate from Plattsburg High School and go on to college. During his three years of service on the board, he said people valued his opinion on the board. On the question of votes, he knew how one could be on the outside of issues, mentioning a few times when he was the lone dissenting vote. He said he would run if appointed in the April election. “I do say what I feel because like my dad says, ‘A closed mouth don’t get fed.’” he said. “But sometimes you have to move on when votes don’t go your way.” Steve Garr made the motion to appoint Mark Coulter and his motion was seconded by Corey Wilkinson. Garr mentioned his motion was based on the close vote in April with Coulter finishing third. Garr, Dow, Wilkinson and Martin voted in favor, while O’Connor and Hoskins voted against. Dr. Steggall touched on overall finances with the Fund I balance showing $2.215 million. All three building principals offered their reports, with Dr. Turner’s report from Ellis Elementary covering reading data assessments with consultants on the job. The NWEA testing program is in place with results to come very soon. CCMS Principal Angie Courtney said the testing is a slow process, but is underway. The intervention program on grades is a focal point. The trip to New York City and Washington D.C. has been well received, with 73 signed up. The high school report was presented by Mr. Kellerstrass, with Principal Chris Hodge on supervising duty. Attendance at the high school was 96 percent with the NWEA testing underway in English and math for the ninth and tenth grades. Athletic Dirctor Kellerstrass said he had been working on updating the championship banners in the gym and work on the Plattsburg Athletic Hall of Fame is underway. Special Education director Brittany Delemeter said they would once again be hosting the Special Olympics in basketball on December 13. Dr. Steggall said the overall school enrollment is 630 in grades K-12: 187 high school, 146 middle school, 297 Ellis Elementary. There are 30 students in preschool. A total of 61 students are enrolled in kindergarten. The freshman class is small at 38 and the senior class has 49 students. The October board meeting will be moved to October 23 to accommodate training for Dr. Steggall and Sandy Goad on new bookkeeping software.