School accepts bid for new facility

The Willow Springs school board approved a bid for a new athletic training facility at its monthly board meeting Nov. 15.
On a motion by Brent Colley and seconded by Jeff Lovan, the board approved a $217,000 bid from Ledbetter Construction for the facility, along with an additional amount of up to $50,000 for insulation.
The board agreed at its September meeting to solicit bids for the facility. At that time, superintendent Dr. Marty Spence told the board the district has approximately $700,000 remaining in ESSER funding – currently ESSER III funds, meaning funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund as designated under the American Rescue Plan. 
The plan originally was for a 50- by 100-foot building, but Spence told the board at the October meeting that plans had increased the building size to 50 feet wide by 110 feet long. The ceiling height also was increased to accommodate a batting cage that can be raised. 
The facility also will include an open area and turf portion for indoor running, plus weight equipment. It will be constructed near the current district practice fields and the elementary playground.
Also at last week’s meeting, the board approved a new policy to allow a student school board representative. The student will be a junior, with the term running from January of his or her junior year through December of the student’s senior year. 
“The purpose of having a student representative on the board is to provide a student voice,” Spence explained to the board. “That’s what we’re for is to take care of the students.”
Spence said interested students will need to apply, and high school principal Nick Schmitt said the administration will narrow the field to the top three students. Students will then be elected by classmates to the position.
The elected representative will be responsible for a monthly update on student activities to the board, but also will serve as the liaison between the board and the student body. In board meetings, the student will respond with input whenever asked by the board.
Spence said the student will serve as “a reminder at each meeting of why we’re here,” also adding, “it’s an excellent way to include our student body.”
In other business:
• The board approved filing dates for the April school board election. Filing will run from Tuesday, December 6, through Tuesday, December 27. Board members up for reelection to three-year terms are Brent Colley, Matt Hobson, and Adam Webb.
• The board heard presentations from members of the high school FBLA on their various activities, including Bear Media Productions.
• Spence, Hobson, and board president Mac Gum updated board members on the recent Missouri School Boards Association conference in Kansas City, including the sessions they attended and the networking opportunities they had.
• The board approved a new student information system, as the current system was bought out and forced the district to change providers.
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