Local News: New $2.2M PBJH Activity Center Lit Green (02/18/22)


After deliberating for several months, the Poplar Bluff RI District Board of Directors has decided to move forward with the construction of a new activity center for the college.

Amy Jackson, Superintendent of Finance, presented the current proposal at the board meeting on Thursday.

The 8,700 square foot building will include an activity room, a weight room, two Project Lead The Way classrooms and a music room. The new center will use the footprint of the current one and be constructed with CMU concrete load-bearing walls, timber roof trusses, a standing seam metal roof and a brick veneer exterior.

Principal Architect I Brett Dille of Dille Pollard Architecture said the reasoning behind these materials was “durability, longevity cost”. Since the plan is always open to change, he can coordinate with a contractor and look at other options if they seem more cost-effective.

“Now we’re hiring a contractor early on and we’ll look at options if, for example, we can get lightweight metal trusses cheaper than wood trusses, we would go that route,” Dille said.

The current estimate, including district contingencies, is $2.2 million.

“We’ve talked about and discussed this in the past, with these types of projects being more important due to market uncertainty and product availability,” Jackson said.

She and the board also want to move quickly to ensure students can use the new building as soon as possible.

“I know the goal of our representatives here who work in this building is to complete this project by August so that our children can benefit from it, and I know that pushes it if the council approves it, but we would have need to use the Construction Manager at Risk method of supply for this because it allows us to move faster,” Jackson explained. “And we can start the demo (lition) and start working on the whole foundation…before the architects have to completely finish the plans.”

During a Q&A with Dille and project manager Shawn Huffman, council member Tim Gaebler pointed out that the northeast corner of the plan appears to extend beyond the edge of a steep incline. at the back of the building. Dille agreed that the slope could be a problem.

“We’re going to look at this a lot closer and we’re going to push it as far west as possible – that makes sense – and avoid that northeast corner,” Dille said. In addition, geodrilling will be carried out around the site to determine the composition and stability of the soil.

Jackson said the school needed a new activity center because the current one is “not very usable” due to deteriorating backs. Superintendent Scott Dill agreed.

“I think this facility has lost its usefulness to the district. It’s a great facility,” he said. “Our kids deserve better, our college deserves better, and for my part, I fully endorse that. I think it’s money well spent. It will meet the needs of the neighborhood for generations to come. And aesthetically, I think it will blend well with the campus.

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