Columbia Public School Board approves contract for high school gymnasiums

Monday, November 14, 2011 | 10:28 p.m. CST; updated 12:54 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 15, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board unanimously approved a contract for the construction of new gymnasiums at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools at its meeting Monday night.

Board members approved an $11.8 million contract with Jefferson City-based Sircal Contracting to begin working on the gymnasiums. 

This contract will also include replacing classrooms at Hickman that will be affected by gym construction.

The projects' total budget is $13.75 million; the money would be taken from the capital projects fund of the $120 million 2010 bond issue. 

Charles Oestreich, director of facilities and construction services, said that because the board approved the contracts, permits are available for the company to begin working on the project as early as Nov. 15.

Under the bond timeline, these gyms will be completed by August 2013. When completed, Hickman and Rock Bridge each will have two gyms. 

The board also unanimously voted to approve Peckham and Wright in a partnership with ACI/Frangkiser Hutchens as the district's official architect. Their contract would run through Nov. 30, 2014. 

The firms will now begin working on a design for the new elementary school, which is expected to be complete in June 2015. It will be located near Battle High School, which will open August 2013. 

The elementary school's estimated construction budget is $10.7 million, and financing will be drawn from the 2010 bond issue's capital projects fund.

Several budget amendments were also unanimously approved by the board. 

The board was also presented with an update on student achievement in the district.

Committee members of the district's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan initiative including Sally Beth Lyon, chief academic officer, stressed the importance of continuing to align the district's curriculum with the standardized tests student will have to take.

The group reported to the board some of the progress the district has made over the past few years. Some of the highlights from the report include:

  • Reading proficiency in respect to grade level has risen from 73 percent in the fall of 2010 to 82 percent in the spring of 2011.
  • The average Columbia high school student scored a 23.8 on the ACT. The average Missouri student scored a 21.6, and the national average is 21.1.
  • The high school graduation rate in Columbia has risen 1.6 percent from 2007 to 2011. Missouri's rate overall has increased 0.2 percent.

The school board will meet next during a work session at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the District Administration Building at 1818 W. Worley St.

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