April 19, 2021

Under construction

PCM Schools continue work to improve district buildings

Progressing forward has been the name of the game at the PCM School District since the school board approved a district wide renovation plan touching each school building.

From a new air conditioning system at Monroe Elementary to the addition of the Link building between the middle school, and Prairie City Elementary and finally the renovation of the music room and additional of classrooms at the high school, to start, work has been done to provide an improved learning experience for students.

While the additions at the middle school and both elementaries have been completed and in use for a while, the work at the high school was substantially completed during winter break. A new addition of the west side of the building created two classrooms, which eliminated the need for the mobile classrooms. The rooms are used for social studies classes and there is a large open area at the center of the space for use, as well. Sanitary sewer lines were also included in a “wet wall” of the classrooms to plan for possible conversions into science labs in the future.

Outside of the new classrooms, a covered walkway will serve as the new entrance into the PCM football stadium. The design took cues from the Link building, including a strong use of windows, but it also incorporated the existing architecture of the high school building.

At the other end of the school, the stage located between the choir and band room and the commons area was removed to make way for a larger musical space. Including more storage, office space and practice rooms, the area also has completely redesigned acoustics for both the band and choir.

“There are three practice rooms, two small ones and a larger one in the corner for three to four people to practice together,” PCM Principal Scott Bridges said.

Completed prior to the start of the school year, the high school now has an expanded, paved parking lot of 300 spaces. The design provides wider traveling paths making for an easier traffic flow.

The school is not done with construction, though, with HVAC work planned for the summer in areas in and around the gym. The board also approved the reconstruction of the football stadium including a new turf field, track, bleacher sets for home and visitors, press box, video board and water control system. Work is set to begin when school dismisses for the summer and is expected to be completed before the beginning of the 2019 football season.

“The goal will be to have this ‘wow factor’ when you walk in,” Shive-Hattery Civil Engineer Brent Strauch said. “You step out of a plaza and you’re overlooking the field, you’re looking down at the press box, the concession stands and new bleachers on both sides.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com