New Franklin R-I explores exterior upgrades

During the regular session of the New Franklin School Board meeting, the board discussed the Elementary sidewalk canopy, School Zone flashing lights, and technology updates.

It has recently been noticed the ceiling (underneath side) of the sidewalk canopy at the Elementary School is in need of repair. Moisture has damaged the ceiling and there is significant rot. Looking out from the upper floors of the High School at the canopy, water can be seen standing on the roof. The canopy is a flat roof and was not built with an angle or pitch. There are drains, but not all water is making its way to the drains. Superintendent Brian Cordel and Building and Grounds Director Eric Chaney inspected the top of the canopy, walking on top of the roof. The structure is sound, and to insure it continues to be, re-roofing is planned. Adding a pitch and using metal roofing was originally discussed, and later scrapped due to the curve of the structure. A rubberized material is being considered with an underlayment that would contour the roofing toward the existing drains. Bids will be sought for discussion at the next meeting.

Superintendent Cordel asked the board to consider flashing yellow “School Zone” lights for the section of Highway 5 at the school. When New Franklin Police Chief Mike Wise is available, he positions his patrol car with lights flashing at the carwash to alert drivers coming into New Franklin that they may have to stop just past the curve. Elementary School Principal Dawn Shipp shared that she has witnesses semi trucks on the way into town struggling to stop, not expecting the school crossing. Superintendent Cordel noted that a crossing guard was almost hit by a passing car. Signage designating the school zone is already in place, Cordel is suggesting the flashing lights to catch attention of more motorists and from farther away. Questions to research for the next meeting include cost sharing with governmental agencies, placement, and total cost.

Now that the new gymnasium has had quite a bit of use, it is evident there is very poor mobile phone reception inside the building. Technology Director Jackie Starke is researching ways to solve the issue. She shared with the board an option of purchasing a signal booster similar to what residential customers located in difficult-to-reach areas can purchase for their homes. She shared with board members a booster made by Wilson that would have up to 7,500 square feet of inside coverage. The new gym is approximately 10,000 square feet in size. Starke will continue researching ideas and options.

In other business, the board approved the 2019-20 District Calendar;

• the 2017-18 audit was received, there were no significant issues;

• condensation in the old gymnasium is an issue, solutions are being researched;

• FFA students and sponsor Chris McGowan hosted an “Angel Tree” for an elementary family, (kept anonymous), providing gifts and needed items for the family; 

• the New Franklin Alumni Association, PTO, and MAD Boosters donated additional risers for performances, which eliminates the need to continue to borrow risers;

• students brought in household items to donate to the Central Missouri Community Action Agency as a Christmas service project;

• Elementary Principal Shipp and Middle/High School Principal Benji Dorson praised Chaney for all his team did in preparation for the Christmas Program and Concerts.

The next meeting of the New Franklin School Board will be Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. The meeting is held in board chambers across from district offices and is open to the public.

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