An update on plans for an upcoming two-story, 18-classroom addition to Neosho High School was presented by two architects Tuesday as the Neosho R-5 School Board met for a work session.
Eric McCune, project manager, and Kristi Beattie, project architect with Sapp Design and Associates, updated the plans for the FEMA shelter addition at the high school. McCune told the district cost estimates were higher than previous estimates to the board. McCune said the district's share of the project would be about 3.9 million, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency kicking in another 1.9 million for the emergency shelter.
The 30,818-square-foot addition will be located along the front of the high school building.
Beattie said the design will feature elements to break up the long front "ribbon" that is offered along Neosho Boulevard, including a vertical glass entryway, along with signage stating "Neosho High School" and "Home of the Wildcats."
"What we talked about it kind of as a ribbon, we struggled with the idea of if you come from the north, if you come from the south, how do you approach that," McCune said. "What we're trying to do in the newer scheme is trying to develop as a translucent tube that can be lit from the inside at night and have a certain amount of transparency during the day. It's almost like it's the anchor, it's the point, it's almost identifying the entryway."
Because of the addition, Beattie said, parking will be limited to either angled or parallel in front of the high school, with large lots located at either end of the campus: one for faculty, the other for students.
The architects and the board also discussed various ways to alleviate traffic congestion during morning drop-off and afternoon pickup times.
The architects also discussed the project at South School, which would include a FEMA shelter that will double as a gymnasium, with a stage and seating. An add-on to that project may include enclosing the buildings at the elementary under one roof and widening doorways so they will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
McCune said now was the time to go back into the plans and see where items could be eliminated or reduced in order to keep costs down.
But Board President Brett Day advised the architects not to cut too deeply.
"This is a big deal and we want to do it right," he said.