Palmyra School District moving ahead quickly with new track and field

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 12, 2019 7:10 am

PALMYRA, Mo. -- The Palmyra R-1 School District plans to move quickly on constructing a new track and field thanks to the voter-approved passage of a $3.5 million bond issue on April 2.

The Palmyra School Board this week awarded a contract for at least $1.031 million to Byrne and Jones to build the track and field.

"Our hope is they will begin moving dirt next week for the track," Superintendent Kirt Malone said in an interview.

Malone said the company's $1.031 million base bid calls for a grass athletic field. However, he said the board hopes to authorize an alternate bid costing an additional $400,000 to install an artificial turf football field. But the board won't be able to approve the alternate bid unless the bids for two other high-priority projects -- renovating the ag building and the middle school kitchen -- prove to be affordable. The board will review those bids later this week.

"If the costs for the rest of the projects come in as expected, then we'll be able to place a turf football field inside the track," he said.

Malone said the goal is to have the new track and field completed by the end of August.

The district also plans to use bond proceeds to complete safety and security access control upgrades at the high school; build an addition onto the high school weight room to house the wrestling program; renovate and upgrade the Elementary School's playground; and complete other remodeling and repair improvements.

Also during its meeting Tuesday, the board seated two board members who were elected April 2 -- incumbent Joe Knochel, who is starting his second term, and newcomer Roth McElvain, who is taking over the seat vacated by Chuck Keller, the board's immediate past president, who did not seek re-election after serving five terms.

The board elected Oneta Crowe as its new president. Darin Redd was elected vice president, Stacy Hoerr secretary and Stephanie Bross treasurer.

In other action, Malone gave an update on the district's budgeting process. He said school officials are still trying to determine how much state and local revenue to expect in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Malone said the revenue outlook will have a direct impact on the district's salary schedule next year. He said the board hopes to raise the base salary for teachers and noncertified staff, grant horizontal and vertical steps on the salary schedule and contribute to employees' health savings accounts.

Malone said Palmyra High School will be the host site for the Missouri School Board Association's spring regional meeting on Monday. He said PHS senior Audrey Fohey is slated to receive a $1,000 Belcher Scholarship. Fohey is the only student from Region 3, which covers nine counties, to win such a scholarship.

The board hired Stephanie Venvertloh as an elementary teacher and Middle School quiz bowl coach, and it hired Angela Keppner as high school guidance counselor and high school National Honor Society sponsor.

The board accepted the resignations of teachers Gayle Thompson and Kelsey Meyers.