Chanute Extension Academy

David Stewart, engineer from Gravity Works Architecture out of El Dorado, talks with USD 413 School Board members about the plans for the Chanute Extension Academy adjacent to Royster Middle School. The building will need to be gutted and the Academy is expected to open in January of 2021. 

ERIC SPRUILL

USD 413 Board of Education members toured two new, recently-purchased properties in the district during Monday night’s meeting, and heard from an architectural firm on work that will take place over the next several months.

Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams wanted everyone to know the process will not be quick, especially at 323 W. Main, where the new Chanute Extension Academy will relocate. 

“As you see, the building is not close to being ready for classes to take place,” Adams said.

According to David Stewart, an engineer from Gravity Works Architecture out of El Dorado, the location will not be ready until the spring semester.

“While the outside looks like this is a ready-to-go facility, the inside needs to be gutted entirely,” Stewart said of the 2,200-square-foot building. “We will have to build walls to have classrooms.”

The ceilings will also be torn out and rebuilt at eight feet high. 

Work will also have to be done to build up the concrete between Royster Middle School and the new CEA building to insure it is up to ADA regulations. The area will have to be leveled.

The CEA building is not supposed to open until January, at the earliest.

After touring that building, the board visited the KVC Behavioral Healthcare facility located at 321 E. Main. The building is approximately 10,000 square feet and will house the Board of Education and administration offices. Training sessions will also be held at the location. 

Not as much work will have to take place at this location, except adding new entryways to make it more accessible to the public.

USD 413 paid $200,000 for the building, which was appraised at roughly $1.3 million. 

“The second we purchased this building, we had instant equity,” Adams said. “We still have a lot of planning to do to take full advantage of what this building has to offer.”

While the building has a board room, it also has two conference rooms and a work room.

The district is currently in the process of relocating.

“Tracy Maring and Matt Koester pack up the boxes each day and I just sit and watch,” Adams quipped. 

“That’s not how it is going, everyone is in the process of boxing up their own items,” Koester retorted. 

The new building will house 21 offices.

Following the tour of the new properties, board members approved a lease agreement with KVC for the property located at 315 Chanute 35 Parkway, where the current board offices are located. 

KVC will pay $2,500 per month for three years, while USD 413 will take care of all maintenance issues and provide lawn care. 

In other business, Adams noted that 95 percent of work has been completed at Royster Middle School, and work will begin at Chanute High School in the next few weeks. 

Board members voted in Cassie Cleaver as the new Board President, while Gary Wheeler was elected vice president. Tamara Slane was appointed as the board clerk, while Jamie Ortiz was voted into the position of deputy clerk. Kathleen Standley was is the district treasurer. These were positions Ortiz, Slane and Standley already held. 

After a total of 13 minutes of executive session the board approved the following resignations and employements:

Resignations: Roy Fulton, van driver, Jacob Hutchison, NBA aide, Charles McKinney, Director Support Operations, Andrew Stout, CHS counselor, Krista Warstler, RMS music aide

Employments: Lance Burnett, RMS assistant boys tennis coach, Wendy Jones, RMS head cross country coach, Jones, RMS assistant track coach, Niccole Vogel, RMS co-Stuco sponsor, Summer school teachers, Summer school paraprofessionals.

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