South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Sappington, Kennerly designs approved by Lindbergh board

District voters OK’d Prop R to fund building renovations

The Lindbergh Board of Education last week approved design plans for building improvements at Sappington and Kennerly elementary schools.

The two projects — a partial building replacement at Sappington and a minor building addition at Kennerly — are being funded through Proposition R, which Lindbergh voters approved Nov. 7. Work at the two schools is scheduled to begin next summer. Construction will continue into the 2007-2008 school year and will not be completed until the start of school in 2008 at the earliest.

At a special board meeting on Nov. 28, Lindbergh officials unanimously approved a traditional design at Sappington Elementary School that is similar to an early design of that school that was completed in 1928.

As for Kennerly Elementary, school board members also unanimously approved exterior designs for its renovation, which will feature columns supporting its front entrance and upper floor and also a curved glass hallway that will connect the new addition to the existing school building.

Lindbergh Executive Director of Planning and Development Karl Guyer has said that the district will focus on 2007, 2008 and 2009 to complete renovation and repair projects it has planned for various schools throughout the district.

Proposition R is described by Lindbergh administrators as a no-tax-rate-increase $32 million bond issue. The district’s debt-service tax rate will remain unchanged at 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, but it will be extended for a six-year period. The tax-rate extension from Proposition R will end in 2026, according to Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane.

Proposition R received 15,812 of 22,720 votes cast, which equals gathering 69.57 percent of voter approval in the district. According to that vote, the district eclipsed the 57.14 percent — or four-sevenths majority — it needed to pass the measure.

Besides the partial building replacement at Sappington Elementary and the minor building addition at Kennerly, Prop R will fund a variety of other projects in schools throughout the district. These include new roofs, the replacement of rooftop HVAC units, classroom doors that lock from the inside for elementary schools, fire alarms and security cameras in most buildings.

With both Sappington and Kennerly, Guyer has said the buildings are simply too small in size to accommodate the number of students and teachers in each school. For this reason, these projects were chosen to be completed first among all works to be funded through Prop R.

The partial building replacement at Sappington Elementary is an estimated $8.55 million project, and the minor building addition at Kennerly Elementary is estimated to cost $2.65 million. Bids for both projects are expected to be requested in two rounds — one for foundation work and another for construction — during the spring.

To gauge interest in originally two exterior design plans for each school, district officials scheduled meetings with teachers and parents at both Kennerly and Sappington elementary schools.

“We held meetings at each of the schools,” Guyer said. “So staff members in either school or parents that were interested would have an opportunity to express their views. Folks could come into the office and they could look at the drawings.”

Guyer told board members last week that most of the comments at those meetings were in relation to the schools’ interior design, which he said would be finalized early next year.

The district also heard comments on the new designs from architectural firms and the Sappington-Concord Historical Society, which favored the traditional design at Sappington Elementary School.

Sappington’s design plans call for classrooms to be placed on the west end of the current school as well as a library and gym and a new front driveway at Eddie and Park Road. The school’s new front entrance will feature a stone archway while still retaining much of the school’s traditional feel.

The Sappington project also will require the demolition of the oldest sections of the school building.

As for Kennerly, the school’s new building will include standard classrooms and rooms for music and art classes.

The curved design approved for the school’s exterior is favored largely because the curve actually will give more hallway space in the building, according to Kennerly Principal Steven Suess.

Guyer told board members last week that if there are any elements within either design for both Kennerly and Sappington that they would like to see applied to both options for each school, he is certain the plans are flexible enough for that to happen.

“Some aspects from the interior layout could be possibly incorporated within some limits to either design,” Guyer said. “Kennerly, they are virtually identical. Sappington, there is some uniqueness between the two designs. Depending on what desire, if the board went one direction but there is something that was felt needed to be brought over from the other planning layout, we’ll try to do our best to incorporate that.”

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