Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2001

Lexington Trails to receive $8.8 million facelift

May 10, 2001

The De Soto school board gave informal approval Monday to an $8.8 million plan to expand and renovate Lexington Trails Middle School.

Kirk Horner of Hollis Miller said the project's cost is about $880,000 more than projected in the 1999 bond issue. The architect said the price went up because the renovation part of the project "evolved."

"The renovation was originally seen in terms as a fresh coat of paint and new carpet," Horner said. "When we started to study this, we found equity issues compared to what was offered at Monticello Trails."

Greater renovation to the 1967 vintage high school was needed if Lexington Trails was to provide equal educational opportunities in science, art, music and consumer science, said Hollis Miller project architect Shannon Pollard. To accommodate a student enrollment of 750, the cafeteria, library and locker rooms will have be enlarged and additional storage space made available, she added. Finally, the improvement will provide effective air conditioning for the school's gymnasium.

The Lexington Trails expansion and renovation is the last remaining project from the $42.5 million bond issue approved by district voters in 1999, said Denis Johnson, district facilities director. The board gave informal approval to his suggestion to apply the $1.2 million in savings from past projects to Lexington Trails.

"We still have about a $300,000 buffer," he said.

The project will be carried out in phases over the next 27 months, Horner said. It should be finished with the opening of school in the fall 2003, he said.

The new two-story, 20-classroom addition should be finished by Christmas 2002, Horner said. The plan is to do as much of the renovation work as possible during the next three summers, he said.

"You won't get a brand spanking new building at one time," he said. "It's going to be a challenge moving kids around."

The new addition is to be built to the south of the existing classroom wing on an area now occupied by an outdoor basketball court and lawn. Each of its two floors will offer classrooms for one of the middle school's three grade levels. The new classrooms will be located around a central activity center.

The school's third grade level will occupy existing classrooms that surround the renovated library, Horner said. Grade levels have not yet been assigned classroom suites, he said.

The school's administration offices will be relocated to a remodeled area west of the auditorium, Pollard said. And, unlike the present school, they will be near the building's main entrance.

"One of the problems of the existing building is that as it has evolved the easily identifiable entrance," she said. "One of our concerns was to provide a front door."

The Hollis Miller architects told the school board they would return in the summer with more complete plans for the board's approval. However, the board took action Monday that assures work on the project's first phase will start this summer.

The board approved a $751,000 plan to resurface the school's parking lot. JE Dunn Construction will serve as the project manager for the job. In addition to resurfacing the school's badly deteriorated parking lot, Johnson said the project would pave gravel areas near the stadium and the bus parking lot.

The board action also included a $37,900 alternative bid to surface additional lanes onto a realigned Penner Avenue. In a proposal that will eliminate the south Y, the city plans to make all traffic entering Lexington from Penner turn left near the school, Johnson said.

The city is to reimburse the school district the $37,900 for the additional lanes, Johnson said. The city council is to discuss the proposal next week.

The board also awarded a $48,680 contract to CPM Corp. of De Soto to replace the northwest wall of the Lexington Trails gymnasium. The present wall was a temporary measure that was to be replaced when the gym was expanded, a project that never happened.

In other action, the board:

Approved bids totaling $718,000 to Powers Construction to renovate the old kindergarten building on Peoria Street. The work is part of the 1999 bond issue.

Approved a change order of $59,000 for the installation of lights at four Mill Valley High School tennis courts. Schmidtlien Electric is the contractor for the project.

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