Boonville board asks community for input on Central School building

The Boonville R-1 School Board of Education is looking for community input on the future of Central Elementary School, which now houses programs such as Kids Club, the alternative school and in-school suspension to name a few.
In 2009 Central Elementary School served students for the last time, being replaced by Hannah Cole Primary. According to Boonville Superintendent Mark Ficken, the idea was to keep the building vacant. But soon, programs were located to the aging 1939 facility. The facility, now called the Central Success Center, is the only facility in the district that does not have air conditioning.
The building has an area of 32,275 square feet. New windows were added in the year 2000. The yearly cost to operate the building is estimated around $30,000.
With the ever-growing need for a facility the size of Central, the board is faced with three options, which will all cost the district money, according to Ficken.
Option one includes selling the old building. This option would make the district some money but the space lost would need to be recouped. This would add cost in the long run as a new facility would need to be built or found.
Option two includes remodeling the entire school. According to Ficken, a complete HVAC and new electrical system would need to be installed. Furthermore, the floors will need to be refinished along with a complete remodel of the interior. A new elevator will need to be installed. The cafeteria and kitchen would need drastic remodels as well according to Ficken. This option could be the most expensive of the three.
Option three includes tearing down the old building and building a new one story facility in the same place. This option would include more parking. Ficken said the building, if built, would fit the historical style of the community. The new building would be of similar square footage.
Following a building walk-through in September, a question and answer session and discussion on future options for the Central Success Center was held in the cafeteria. According to minutes of the meeting, a majority of people attending favored building a new facility.
Ficken said the board will not make a decision until more information is gathered from the community.
More information can be obtained by calling the Boonville R-1 School District at 660-882-7474, including a rough cost of the three options.