Harrisonville Superintendent Update

A Message from Mr. Mensching, Harrisonville School Superintendent

On June 2, voters approved Proposition N – a $22.7 million no tax increase bond issue to address facility needs throughout the district. This fall the Board of Education selected Newkirk and Novak as our construction management firm.

We have two different teams from our architect, Hollis+Miller, working on designs for various projects in the district.

One specific team is addressing the bond work and use of funds from an outside grant received by Cass Career Center for a nursing addition. We meet with that team weekly at this point.

We are also meeting with a separate team that is doing work on ECC/HMS/HES. We are running these tasks in phases so each building will be addressed at different times throughout the next two to three years.

Work for HHS and McEowen will begin during the next design phase with actual construction slated to begin in 2021-22.

Once designs are narrowed down, our construction managers (Newkirk and Novak) will put estimates on the costs for various projects and we will tweak our priority list prior to construction actually beginning.

One bond project has already been completed – the playground fence at McEowen is finished except for some of the push bars on the gates. This will improve the safety & security of that area.

As you may be aware, one project underway currently is the Harrisonville Middle School remediation project. We learned of issues with our heating & cooling system at HMS a few weeks before the start of school – condensation on the insulation. We ran air quality tests on the entire building and mitigated four specific areas on nights and weekends prior to the start of school so that the air quality was in the acceptable range to have class. That process was a temporary fix and did not involve the removal of the insulation in those areas. The only way that the insulation could be removed was for the heating/cooling system to be off so that condensation did not interfere with the removal process by causing it to rain everywhere inside the building. Therefore, we made the decision to move to virtual learning for HMS students for four weeks beginning Oct. 5. We have provided an alternate location for about 75 students to complete virtual learning with staff supervision and assistance.

Our target to have all in-person learners and staff back in the middle school is November 2. As with most remodel projects, there have been some hiccups. For example, upon removal of insulation, we discovered a few pipe joints that were leaking. They will have to be replaced prior to installation of new insulation. The money to pay for this project is required to come from bond proceeds as our insurance did not cover the issue. We did have money allocated for similar repair in the project plan, but it was not this extensive. Fortunately, we did receive a very favorable premium on the bonds issued in July, which will more than pay for this unforeseen problem.

I will provide updates regularly in this newsletter as we move forward with projects. We are happy to be able to begin implementing the improvements you approved and demonstrate good stewardship of your investment.