Mascoutah, Lebanon making progress on building new grade schools

News-DemocratMarch 7, 2014 

Two metro-east school districts -- Mascoutah District 19 and Lebanon District 9 -- are laying the ground work for new elementary schools.

Mine remediation work is underway at the site of District 19's new elementary school on Wingate Boulevard in the Villages of Wingate subdivision in Shiloh.

Superintendent Craig Fiegel said the mine grouting and remediation is expected to be completed by the end of this month, depending on the weather. The work performed by Howard Concrete Pumping Company in Belleville will cost an estimated $2.7 million.

District 19 school board also approved the following work at the site at its meeting last month:

* Gelly Excavation in Trenton will perform earthwork, site demolition and storm sewer work for $423,108.

* Haier Plumbing and Heating in Okawville will perform sanitary sewer work for $17,900.

* Ehret Plumbing in Belleville will do water distribution for $92,915.

* Thouvenot, Wade and Moerchen in Swansea will do construction layout and staking at the elementary school building site for $19,450.

Lebanon District 9 Superintendent Patrick Keeney said the dirt pad where the new elementary school will be built on district-owned property southwest of the current high school at 200 W. Schuetz St. has spent the last two months settling.

"The dirt has packed enough now we can start building," he said.

Iron work and footings for the outlining of the building will be completed next, according to Keeney. Then the concrete foundation will be poured.

New District 9 school

The new grade school in Lebanon will replace the current 80-year-old school, which houses pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. The current grade school at 201 W. Schuetz St. has foundation issues and heating and air conditioning problems.

The new school is expected to be completed in December with a 12-month construction timeline, Keeney said. Voters approved a $7.5 million bond issue for a new elementary school building in Lebanon in 2010.

Current plans call for construction of a 40,000-square-foot, 24-classroom building with the capacity for 400 students. Lebanon Grade School currently has 330 students.

The cost to construct the 40,000-square-foot building is $5.5 million, Keeney said, with the total cost expected to be $7.5 million, which is $187.50 per square foot.

The district is working with Ittner Architects and Holland Construction Services. Keeney said the district is working to set-up a real time camera to allow community members to view live footage of construction at the site.

Lebanon grade school students are expected to attend the new school in August 2015.

"It's going to be a great place for our kids," Keeney said.

New District 19 school

District 19 is planning to construct a new elementary school with a three-section configuration, according to Fiegel, with a capacity for 450 to 500 students.

He estimates enrollment will be at least 350 when the school first opens in August 2015.

The district's two elementary schools -- Mascoutah Elementary School and Scott Elementary School -- are overcrowded with more than 900 students. Voters approved a referendum to construct a new elementary school last April.

Phase one of the project will be construction of a two-story, 83,500-square-foot building, according to Fiegel. Phase two is construction of 29,000-square-feet of shelled spaced for future classrooms -- where the exterior will be completed but the interior will need to be finished -- on the eastside of the new school. The estimated cost for both phases is $28 million, Fiegel said.

Construction of phase one is expected to begin in April with a 15-month time frame.

Keith Poettker of Poettker Construction is the construction manager for the project.

Fiegel said he expects the school board to award at least 12 bid packages to various contractors to build the building at the April 14 board meeting.

He said board members may decide not to construct the shelled space for future classrooms if the bids come in too high. "We are bidding that as an alternate to shell it out," Fiegel explained.

The name of the school will also be chosen by school board members at the April meeting based on the recommendation from the naming committee.

"We are very excited about the chance to build this building for our students," Fiegel said.

Just two years ago, Mascoutah District 19 completed construction of a new high school. The new Mascoutah High School cost $52 million to construct the 280,000-square-foot building, which comes out to $185.71 per square foot.

Fiegel said he expects the new elementary school to cost more per square foot than the new high school, which was built at a time when construction was down. He said he "doesn't anticipate it will be quite that low."

If District 19 school board chooses to award bids for both phases of construction, the cost of the new 112,500-square-foot elementary school is estimated to be $28 million, which is approximately $249 per square foot.

The new Belle Valley School in Belleville, which was completed in December 2011, cost $142.50 per square foot to build with a total cost of $28.5 million for the 200,000 square-foot structure.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or

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