Meeker board continues work on school plans

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MEEKER — While plans for the new elementary school are moving forward, some of the designs are still in the preliminary stage.

School board members and project engineers spent two days last week addressing various construction issues. One of the issues under review is what type of foundation is best suited for the site of the new school, which will be located east of the Meeker Recreation Center.

“We’re still at the discussion stage,” said Superintendent Dan Evig. “We’ve been talking about foundation issues on the site for about a month or so now. (The issue) is largely due to the soils report and the kind of bedrock we have on the site. So the discussion is really to focus on what is the best foundation system, with the minimal risk of movement, and how it will affect the cost.”

Evig added engineers have “done quite a bit of core sampling at the site to give us an idea of what the ground is like underneath the site, so we can determine what kind of a foundation is best (for the new school building).”

The new elementary building is expected to be completed during the 2010 school year. Members of the Meeker School Board spent two days last week, Feb. 18 and 19, in construction planning workshops for the new school.

“Everything is starting to fall into place,” Mary Strang, school board president, said of the two days of meetings. “When you embark on a project of this magnitude, there are challenges. The exciting thing is we see progress. But there’s a lot of work to still be done and issues to be resolved.”

One of the other issues still in the works for the new school is the route of the sewer line.

“The sewer route changed slightly,” Evig said. “We’re still looking at the same sort of sewer run, but we found a route that could be a little shorter and could save us some money. It would go across county land to do that.”

Another issue is the water line.

“There’s a town water line on the site,” Evig said. “We’re looking into the line for the new school and where’s the best route (to tap into the town water line). It looks like we will have to move the water line a little bit, but it’s still preliminary.”

Evig said the school district is working with the town and the county on its design plans for the building project.

“This project, it’s a great way for all of us to participate with each other,” Evig said. “It’s taxpayer dollars that help us all, and if we can work together, we can save taxpayer dollars. (Other entities) have been willing to work with us. This is a community project.”

At another meeting Feb. 18, school board members accepted the resignation of longtime elementary school teacher Peggy Strate, who taught for 34 years, including 29 in Meeker.

“We will miss her terribly,” Strang said. “I’m sure it was a hard decision for her, because she’s so committed to kids.”

Added Evig, “She’s a marvelous teacher. She’s done a good job for us. She said she hoped to continue to be involved in education, by substitute teaching and tutoring.”

The school board also added Kirstin Henderson, wife of Meeker High School Principal George Henderson, to the substitute teacher list. Kirstin Henderson is a former elementary school teacher at Hoehne, where, coincidentally, Evig was the principal.

“That was my first principalship,” Evig said, “and she was one of my teachers at that school. She was a great teacher. She will do a good job for us.”