Trumann School District to build new facilities

Friday, January 17, 2014
The Trumann School Board looked over blue prints of a new Baseball/Softball Complex provided by Brackett-Krennerich Architects. (DT Photo/Belina Santos)

The Trumann School Board met with architects from Brackett-Krennerich Arcitects for the second time Monday morning concerning a new Baseball/Softball Complex and a new elementary school.

Trumann School District Superintendent Myra Graham said the construction of a new Baseball/Softball Complex is necessary to adhere to the Title 9 law. For some time now, the Trumann School District softball fields have not had lights, whereas the baseball field has had lights. Through Title 9, the school is required by federal law to provide equal opportunities to boys and girls.

The board recognized that new lights for the softball field would be extremely costly. With the probable need to build a new complex in the near future, the board agreed to go forward with it now rather than only buying new lights.

The construction of a new complex is also deemed necessary in order to begin working on a new elementary school, which is the district's absolute first priority. Graham said in order to build a new elementary school, the baseball field will need to be moved.

According to Graham, the state has looked at Cedar Park Elementary, and noticed several areas that need improvement given updated state requirements.

CPE was built in 1968. One of the major concerns is the classroom sizes. Although they were regulation at the time the building was built, they do not meet the state requirements now. Also, the district has experienced growth within the last few years at the elementary school, which has resulted in a need for more classrooms.

Graham also added the school has a few electric and outdated plumbing problems and some bathrooms are not handicap accessible.

"Our number one focus is the kids. With all that in mind, the state has approved us for approximately $5 million in funding," Graham said.

The state has agreed that the district needs to build a new facility and has approved partnership funding; however, the district has yet to be funded for the project. According to Assistant Superintendent David Rutledge, the board will know by the end of April about the funding.

Rutledge added that renovation is not a viable option for Cedar Park Elementary. With the multiple issues identified by the state, building a new facility would be the best for the residents' children and grandchildren.

The board also met with Marshall Hughes from Beardsley Public Finance to go over the school's financial standing. Hughes went over several figures with the board, as well as, compared them to other schools with Trumann's population size and surrounding schools.

"Overall, everything suggests a good strong school district," Hughes said.

With a good financial standing and state aid, the board hopes to hear more figures and an estimated cost from the architects in the near future to determine its next step in the building process. By the end of the facilities workshop, they had determined it to be necessary to build the Baseball/Softball Complex soon with monies from the building fund in order to start construction on the elementary school.

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