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Spring Valley officials review school plan

Members of the Spring Valley Elementary Board and the community review construction plans during a special board meeting on Thursday night.
Members of the Spring Valley Elementary Board and the community review construction plans during a special board meeting on Thursday night.

SPRING VALLEY – The Spring Valley Elementary Board was joined by numerous city officials at a special board meeting Thursday night.

Architect Bill VanDusen of Allied Design of Springfield said the meeting was to provide a status report on the new addition to John F. Kennedy School.

VanDusen said the construction documents are 80-85 percent completed, and the project is still on time. The final construction documents will be presented to the board for final approval at the Jan. 16 board meeting. After the documents are approved, the process will move to the bidding phase, with a proposed date of Feb. 14 set for opening bids.

City officials were invited to the meeting to ask questions or provide input about the plans.

Don DeFrates of Greene and Bradford went through a lengthy presentation on the nuts and bolts of the building, covering everything from sewers and sidewalk issues to traffic control and fire safety.

There were many questions about the proposed traffic pattern and the number of cars that pick up children every day.

Police chief Kevin Sangston offered to put up a traffic counter, and talked about problems with traffic backing up down Richards Street, sometimes all the way to Dakota Street. Sangston said anything that could be done to move the pick-up spot farther north would be beneficial.

“Our goal is to get cars out of the neighborhoods,” said Superintendent Jim Hermes.

One of the alternate bids that will be under consideration is a road on the east side of the school. There was a lengthy discussion as to traffic flow and how it could possibly create problems for students who walk home.

Board member Jim Faletti said the board should just wait to make a final decision.

“Let’s keep our options alive to see what they will cost,” he said.

VanDusen said there were a number of alternate bids included, including one for an estimated $100,000 to fully equip the stage area.

“When the bids come in and we know what they will cost, we’ll see what alternates we can fit into the project,” he said.

Mayor Cliff Banks had concerns about waste water.

DeFrates said a retention pond would be created on the southeast corner, and almost all of the water would be routed into the pond and then out into the city’s sewer system. Superintendent of Streets John Schultz verified the sewer was in good enough condition to handle the extra water.

There was also information presented on the lighting system, which will be regulated by occupancy sensors in the classrooms; and the heating system. Thermostats will be preset, but each teacher will have the ability to regulate the temperature either up or down two degrees.

The geothermal system was also discussed. Currently the plan calls for the system to apply only to the addition, but Hermes said he would like to see the current building retrofitted for the system if finances allow.

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