The Niangua R-V School District held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Sept. 22, outside the Niangua Elementary School, to celebrate the start of its Early Childhood Center project.
During the ceremony, superintendent T.J. Bransfield recognized school board members, teachers, representatives from Sapp Design Architects, Springfield, and Bales Construction, Inc., Waynesville, along with other agencies who were involved in the project. Melissa Metz and Marla Harnden’s preschool classes were given shovels and Sapp Design helmets to use in the groundbreaking. A reception was held in the elementary school cafeteria following the ceremony.
“Superintendent Bransfield told us he wanted the pre-kindergarten students involved in the ceremony because this building is going to be used by them,” said Niangua Elementary principal Lori Allen. “We are ready to start seeing construction. We needed more classroom space and this will really help us out with that.”
In August 2016, the school district was awarded a community block grant through the 2016 Start Smart program, which is designed to support the development, expansion and improvement of high-quality early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs throughout the state. The Early Childhood Education Center will be constructed behind the FEMA building, where the Niangua school district currently has its early childhood program. The completion date is set for June 22, 2018. According to Kristi Beattie with Sapp Design Architects, they signed their date of commencement form to start the project during the preconstruction meeting on Sept. 13, at the Niangua Elementary School library.
“Bales Construction has started the mobilization, which means they are getting their crews ready, all their contracts and bonding set up, and then they can start scheduling equipment to come out here,” said Beattie. “Once they get the equipment, they can focus on the actual groundbreaking.”