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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Marshall school board narrows list of potential school sites, hears cost estimates on renovating existing schools

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Three school site options being considered by the Marshall school board include, above left, a 70-acre Gieringer tract (outlined in black) bounded on the West by Lincoln Avenue and on the north by Watermill Road, top right, a nearly 40-acre Gaba tract (circled in white) that lies between U.S. Highway 65 and South Odell Avenue, and bottom right, a 26-acre Banks tract on the east side of South Odell Avenue just south of Drake Road.
At a three-hour special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 5, the Marshall school board narrowed the list of potential sites for a proposed new elementary school to three, heard detailed reports from its construction management firm, including estimates of what it might cost to completely renovate existing elementary schools, and set times and dates for a series of public meetings to present information and get feedback from voters.

The three sites selected to present to the public include the Banks property, which the board last year had selected as the site for a new school if the bond issue on the November ballot had passed; the Gaba property, located in "the triangle" between U.S. Highway 65 and South Odell Avenue on the south edge of Marshall; and a 70-acre portion of the Gieringer property east of Lincoln Avenue and south of Watermill Road.

The 26-acre Banks property remains the lowest-cost option at a total of $260,000. The Gaba property, just under 40 acres, would cost about $700,000 and the 70-acre Gieringer tract would be $650,000.

Tim Rosa of Titan Construction, with support from Bill Makin of architectural firm ACI Frangkiser Hutchens, gave the board an overview of revisions to the building design of the three-grade elementary school that would be built if the bond issue passes in April.

The cost of the building was trimmed from about $19 million to less than $16 million by reducing the size of some rooms -- although classroom sizes were not reduced -- lowering a wall, removing lockers and eliminating the use of a geothermal system to heat the building.

The new estimate, which includes everything from land purchase and architect's fees to furnishings and fixtures, is about $15.8 million.

The estimate is based on using the Banks property as the site, as the board had planned last year. With the reconsideration of building site, the costs could change some because cost of site preparation and roadwork might vary, but Rosa said in the context of the project's size, the construction cost variance would not be very significant.

The board established a series of six meetings to present information about the proposed sites and the cost comparisons between building a new school and renovating the older schools and to get input and questions from voters. The meetings will occur in all four elementary schools and Bueker Middle School, with each meeting starting with a tour of the host building.

--Eastwood: Monday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m.

--Southeast: Thursday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m.

--Benton: Saturday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m.

--Northwest: Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

--Eastwood: Thursday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m.

--Bueker Middle School: Thursday, Jan. 21, at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Eric Crump at marshalleditor@socket.net

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Countryman has made very valid points that many people agree with including myself. Look at both sides.

I am impressed that someone has been doing their research in other districts (Columbia) to what they are spending on new buildings, grade levels housed, and potential for future growth. These are the things I like to hear to make a decision before I would vote. Do your homework keep reporting the facts and you may change a few. What it gets down to with many is how much will it cost the tax payers when so many are just scraping by to heat their homes and feed their families!

Look at your school population and see how fast the free and reduced lunch population is growing in Marshall! That should tell Dr. Noah & the board what the average Joe is experiencing locally!

-- Posted by Tito on Mon, Jan 11, 2010, at 10:33 PM

Also according to the Tribune:

"The school (Alpha Hart Lewis elementary), now operating at about half capacity, will ultimately be able to hold 630 students. Next fall, additional students will arrive from Benton, Blue Ridge, Derby Ridge, Lee and Parkade elementary schools."

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 6:08 AM


According to the Columbia Tribune:

"Field Elementary School students might be the only kids to move to the new school in January, Jensen said. Other students scheduled to attend Alpha Hart Lewis would wait to switch until fall 2010."

According to DESE their were 297 students enrolled in Field last year. I assume these are the ones who moved to the new school in Jan.

Since the Tribune stated the district is planning to move students from other elementary buildings, I am sure the final enrollment will be more than 300.

Does anyone know total number of students the building is designed to house?

-- Posted by peopleamazeme on Sat, Jan 9, 2010, at 10:12 PM

297 students are in the new Columbia elementary building. For a cost of almost $16 million. Because it serves grades K-5 they have different size rooms for the different grades. Our proposed 3 grade building would serve about 600 kids. Make the comparisons to the Marshall proposal---sounds like we have a good concept.

-- Posted by mu-grad on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 9:25 PM

Columbia Missouri opened a new elementary school this week. Cost was $15.6 million. Grades K-5, but I do not know how many students it holds. Just some more info on cost of new buildings---seems like we are in the ballpark.

-- Posted by mu-grad on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 9:16 PM

Not only were students and teachers welcomed with heating issues when they came back but it is my understanding that the basement of Eastwood was flooded.

Wake up people. Quit putting a band-aid on an exploding dam.

-- Posted by a realist on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 1:01 PM

Come on people of Marshall School District! Our children need a new school. There is no such thing as building what is needed in the middle of town! The people against building a new school just don't get it. My suggestion to the school board is to propose building ONE School that houses K-8 and see what the people of Marshall School District have to say. Shoot who knows, maybe people would vote "YES".

-- Posted by SeekingInfo on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 6:48 AM

I would like to know why anyone would pick a triangle shaped piece of property to build a school on! Seriously! And what they want for that property is outragous, I say the 70 acre tract so there is plenty of room to grow!

-- Posted by SeekingInfo on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 6:43 AM

I personally think it would be much better to build a new school. My problem lies with how much business will be done locally???? Will the heating and cooling come from within Marshall?? Will all the supplies be from a lumber store here in town?? Will all the workers come from within Marshall to build the school?? Everyone always says to shop local...how is our local businesses going to stay in business if we choose to build or remodel and not have in town people doing the work??? It really gets under my skin to see a big project going on here in town and seeing all out of town companies doing the work?? I know this may seem like a lot of minor things, but we need to keep this in the backs of our minds when voting time comes around again!!! Keep eyes and ears wide open to make sure a good decision is being made!!

-- Posted by zab932 on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 10:45 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
When the school board interviewed construction management firms, members made it clear to each that job scope should be designed to give local companies a fair chance to win bids. I don't think the board or the construction management firm can guarantee that jobs will go to local firms. The work has to be bid and the best bids get the contracts.

So what numbers can people trust? The Sunday January 3, 2010 St Louis Post wrote about a suburban middle school that would cost $30 million to renovate and the same amount to build new. KC Star Jan 6, 2010 a KC area school just spent $9 million for a 200 student capacity building.

It is not just the heat, the ceilings, the lack of electical outlets, limited space, music in the gym. Where is there space to add on at Southeast and Eastwood? Anyone who lives in an 88 year old building will tell you it is constantly one that needs money spent on upkeep. Buildings additions will not solve the problem.

How will there be new staff? If anything it will be less. Fewer buildings--more consolidation.

If you don't want to spend tax money to help kids--what should we spend it on?

-- Posted by mu-grad on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 5:14 PM


We don't have 2000 students in K-8 in Marshall.

We have no 100 year old buildings in the Marshall district.

If the heat doesn't work in your house, do you tear it down and build a new one? I reckon we can fix the heat, in fact, most of the elementary buildings have upgraded heating systems. I believe the recent problems were at Northwest and the Career Center, our two newest buildings.

And regarding rennovation. We don't need rennovation, just get rid of all the dang trailers, and that is more economically done by building the necessary additions only.

Are any of you supporters of this property owners? You seem awefully anxious to see you taxes increase significantly. Also, do not fall for the numbers given in any campaign, they will no doubt be more than what is claimed up front. Staffing and maintaining a new building will add to our district operating costs as well as the bond levy to pay the up front capital.

-- Posted by countryman on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 3:09 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
True. The round numbers used for planning purposes is about 200 students per grade, which means the district has about 1,800 students K-8. The oldest classroom buildings were built in 1922, making them nearly 88 years old.

It is easy to be anonymous and attack. Have some conviction and show up at one of the public meetings and speak up in public--if not--no more negativity.

Time to be progressive. If we can build a new jail--911 center--county health office--we should do something to improve the lives of young students. Start thinking "what is the right thing to do" instead of "what's in it for me".

A K-8 building? Get real. 2000 students in one building? And people complain when 4 people are in line in front of them at the grocery store. You need to step inside of a school.

How many of you have a cell phone-cable tv-a dvd player? Can't get by on old technology? So you upgraded. Help the kids upgrade--they are the future. Wouldn't you rather hear a kid say "Thanks" for the new school instead of going another year to those 100 year old buildings and saying "I'm cold".

On renovation. I talked to some of the men working on the courthouse They said we will have a beautiful renovated buidling. But, that the money would have been better spent on a new building. And that they would be back within 10 years.

Let's focus on the land choice fisrt!! What are your thoughts? Thank you.

-- Posted by mu-grad on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 2:38 PM

I didnt' see it in the story but I wonder if any naysayers went to the meeting to learn more or argue against.

-- Posted by taxedpayer on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 2:24 PM

I hope all of you that are writing all this stuff come to the meetings held at the schools. You will see what the kids see every day and how cramped they are in the sized room they have. If you have questions you want answered come to one of the meeting and ask. I have have full faith in the Board and Dr. Noah that they are doing the right thing FOR THE KIDS. there are a lot of thing that have changed since some of us older folks went to school and the need room to to let these kids learn. SO PLEASE come to one of the meeting and find out what is going on before you write anymore

-- Posted by Under Dog on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 1:53 PM


I must be confused because I see "marshall man allegedly stole candy from Wal-mart" or "marshall woman is being held awaiting formal charges from prosecutor". Why not "marshall teacher is being questioned because he/she allegedly harrassed a student/co-worker"?????

-- Posted by toesrcute on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 9:57 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
I see. You're wondering why it was a brief rather than a front page story? We generally put arrests on the front page when the crime is serious enough *and* we have enough information to do a story. Sometimes unusual circumstances will make a case worth doing a story on. In this case, we have very little information, not enough to make a story. If charges are filed or more information becomes available, we'll do a story.


I can go with that BUT why then you do have stories on others accused but not formally charged? I did not say you named people I just stated that you run stories before the average joe is charged why not a teacher?????

-- Posted by toesrcute on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 1:02 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
We have not done so since implementing this policy almost three years ago. A teacher will be treated the same as anyone else.

The remodeling done in the late 80's or early 90's was a nightmare for the kids as well as the teachers. (Eric, when exactly was that renovation?) I know that Southeast's students was re-located to another building during that time. I don't remember what they did about Benton, who also had a major addition. Remember, we have a larger student population now. I can't imagine renovating one classroom at a time would be a quiet process for the surrounding classrooms. I remember that some teachers moved their classes every hour at the Middle School. Sounds like a pretty disruptive atmosphere.

-- Posted by oneofmany on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 12:36 AM

Wondering who the teacher is at MHS with harrassment charges??? And, wondering why I cannot find the story online????

-- Posted by toesrcute on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 8:28 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Our policy is to include names of people accused of crimes only after formal charges have been filed. The story was in the police briefs, which appear in the paper but not on the web.

Does anyone know if there is a website that provides the details of the new school plan?

-- Posted by d3 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 8:23 PM

countryman, I appreciate your honesty about why you don't support building a new school; it would be a financial hardship. I wish the other naysayers would be as honest, instead of continually bashing every little part of the plan. It's transparent and tiresome.

-- Posted by born-n-raised on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 4:30 PM

I do not think that Lincoln Street is on the outskirts of town. Be realistic on what land choices are available. Try to have a discussion on what good can be done for our kids. I want to hear some constructive thoughts. Why be negative?

-- Posted by mu-grad on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 3:52 PM

Out of the 3 locations proposed, the 70-acre Gieringer tract looks like the best choice to me.

1) More acres (possible multi location?)

2) Not on a busy highway/high traffic area

3) Sidewalks are possible

I mean those are the ones that just jumped out at me while looking at the map. By the way can't remember who suggested it, but thanks and thanks to Eric for that.

I am also impressed that the price tag went down, weird how that works. :) Also, Eric said "The board's plan is to build a three-grade school now, then when the bond has been paid down sufficiently, ask voters for permission to build another elementary school to house K-2." When does the school board think this will be? 5 years? 10 years?

Will in fact at least one school (plus the trailers) be non functional for occupants? Or will we have the new school plus all the problems of the old schools to deal with? Oh and with the lowered face value what will be the new tax rate?

-- Posted by Scarpetta on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 3:35 PM

As long as it takes Selmac8. We need new schools.

-- Posted by taxedpayer on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 3:20 PM

How many times do the people of Marshall have to say "NO" for the school board to understand what the word means? Now there wanting to put the schools out on Watermill road at the edge of town? WTF? No one wants there kids on the out skirts of town, Thats just plain stupid

-- Posted by Selmac8 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 3:04 PM

Unless we are prepared to accomodate K-8 then this new school is a red herring. Think about that if you want to vote for a shiney new school. It will only be a matter of time before we have to build another. This proposal is insane.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 2:57 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
The district cannot borrow enough money to build a K-8 school, and the architects don't recommend building a school that large to house elementary students in any case. The board's plan is to build a three-grade school now, then when the bond has been paid down sufficiently, ask voters for permission to build another elementary school to house K-2.

So, if I got this right, we are going to get taxed to pay for $16 million for a 3-grade school and we will still be operating all but one of those "dilapidated, old school buildings" that everyone complains about? What?

Still seems to me someone wants badly to build a new school, no matter if it makes sense or not. Is there something in Dr. Noahs' contract about a bonus if we build a new building or something? Do our school board members really want their names on a plaque in a new building that bad? Do they see it as the path to reelection?

And one has to wonder about the magic figures. $5.8 million will build all the additions needed to get rid of trailers, which is what we need to do. However, we tack on a $14.7 million "renovation" amount, and reduce the cost of a new building and there you go, we are back to cramming a new building down the taxpayers throats as the only "reasonable" option.

What is it that we must renovate? Is it essential, or just desirable? I thought we wanted to get rid of trailers. I reckon its hard to get people who have upper level incomes to realize that times are hard and we just can't have everything we would like. Lets stick with essentials.

And to Aikman8, apparently due to hell freezing over in this weather, I find myself agreeing with you. LOL. Not the usual Obama drivel part, but your disdain for the smelly parts of this building drive.

Has anyone on the school board or administration analyzed the additional costs to the district taxpayers to staff and maintain this new facility? There is no doubt a raise in the operating tax levy coming in the future if this passes, in addition to the increase in bond levy to pay for the initial capital costs. I don't reckon anybody wants to factor that into the costs but I for one, do not wish to pay any more property taxes.

Especially in light of recent "funny business" at the assessors office regarding "revaluation" of land and real estate that has gone down in value in the last 5 years, but has apparently gone up in assesed value at the courthouse. Whats up with that? Folks, I am a hard core democrat, but we in Saline County and Marshall are taxing ourselves to death! Stop it.

-- Posted by countryman on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 8:57 AM

How about a really nice Wick/Butler type building complex that would house all the elementary grades, not just 3. I bet you could get that for $15 million and have change left over!

-- Posted by hunterfisher on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 7:58 AM

I have to say that the Property between Watermill and Lincoln st sounds like a good location to me. I hope the board looks at this property as the final selection. Its good to see they slimmed the numbers back to $15 from $20 too. My question now is we are getting 3 grades for $15, can we not get another grade in the new school for $20????? I for one would be sold if they could get 4 grades in the new plans, although from what I hear around town just picking the Gierenger property would get the needed votes!!!

-- Posted by Happy EMT on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 7:11 AM

I can answer that, hunterfisher: No.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 6:59 AM

Aikman8, do you EVER have anything positive to say about anything?

-- Posted by hunterfisher on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 5:02 AM

imagine that. all the sites recommended are on the south end of town.

what are the credentials of titan construction and frangkiser? where are they from? what do they know about this town? why were they hired for analysis instead of some other company, and who were they hired by?

i have to say ... i'm just not impressed at all with craig noah and his abilities to understand this whole situation. or any committee who is recommending things to him.

we're getting sold a bill of goods ... sounds kind of like what is going on with our dear leader president obama.

wake up america, wake up marshall school board and noah ... we are engaged as ever and watching every move you make. you can't just slide stuff by us anymore. you will hear us at the ballot box, and if you think we will forget and not care as time passes ... good luck with that one.

-- Posted by aikman8 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 12:48 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
ACI has been working with the district on this project since before the 2000 bond issue was on the ballot. I believe the company did work for the district prior to that, but I don't know how far back the relationship goes.

Titan Construction was chosen by the board after a 3-hour interview session in July during which the board heard presentations from and asked questions of Titan and two other companies, J.E. Dunn and Septagon Construction.


I plan to do a followup story to add detail to the site selection process. The short version: There were 2 other sites proposed, one on Highway 240 near the trailer court and one at the end of West Vest. Board members noted that either site would encourage traffic at one of the two most notorious intersections in town. That was one of several factors in the decision.

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