Getting ready for the changes in the fall semester of 2017, the Rolla Board of Education Thursday night ordered playground equipment for the Rolla Middle School, approved construction change orders for the high school addition and heard a report on enrollment for early childhood education.

Getting ready for the changes in the fall semester of 2017, the Rolla Board of Education Thursday night ordered playground equipment for the Rolla Middle School, approved construction change orders for the high school addition and heard a report on enrollment for early childhood education.

Rolla Middle School will transform to an upper elementary school in August when fourth graders move to that building from the three elementary schools, making the school for fourth through sixth graders. Seventh graders will move to the Rolla Junior High School. Ninth graders will move to the Rolla High School where an addition is currently being built. Early childhood education, a preschool called PUPS, will be offered at the three elementary schools for 4-year-olds.

Thursday night the board authorized spending $118,963 on a two-part playground system that Assistant Superintendent Kelly Hinshaw said will be placed west of the current asphalt play area behind the gazebo.

"There will be 34-35 activities in the two systems combined," Hinshaw said.

The purchase will be made from Hutchinson Recreation and Design, Lake St. Louis. Two models of the Miracle Kids' Choice playground will be installed. Model 714-@457 costs $53,425 and Model 714-S478 costs $77,000. Both include the Miracle Kids Arch Swing set of eight swings, but the set for the Model 714-S457 was removed from the bid, knocking of $5,350 in cost, plus $1,862 for installation. T

Free shipping was agreed to in the bid, so that knocked off $1,750 for the Model 714-S457 and put the final cost of that model at $44,463.

Shipping of $2,500 was removed from the price of the Model 714S478, putting that final cost at $74,500.

Hinshaw said the middle school has aside $75,000 from building equipment funds to pay for the playground systems. The rest of the price, $43,963 will come from the district's capital projects fund.

Hinshaw also said another $35,000 for the PVC curbing material and the wood-chip safety surface will need to be set aside from the capital projects fund. In anticipation of board approval, budget amendments were also presented.

The board approved this package deal that was the result of input from middle school administrators, staff, parents and students. Hinshaw said 19 playground models were submitted by five bidding vendors. Taken into consideration were pricing, number of students who can play on the equipment, fall height, number of activities, use zone and discounts.

Hinshaw said all the bidders were informed the district wants the equipment installed in the summer and fully ready for the students when they arrive in August.

In fact, Hinshaw said, the plan is to have it all done before the end of the fiscal year, so this expenditure will be part of the current budget.

"We would place the order tomorrow," he told board. "We want it finished in June, because we want it in this budget. We want it installed, invoiced and paid by June 30."

Miracle playground equipment is in the school district already, Hinshaw said.

"This is a Missouri company. They produce their own stuff, so we'll be able to get parts if we need them," he said.

In his construction update for the Rolla High School addition, Hinshaw said, "We had a coupe of nice weeks for construction. We made some pretty good progress."

He showed pictures of some of the changes made since the last board meeting. He noted that most of the roof is on, and it has been tied into the current building.

Three change orders were presented and approved by the board. Hinshaw said one change order is the result of discovering that the data room was larger than necessary, so for $2,998 that space was turned into both a data room and a storage room. Door hardware for improved security was also added at a cost of $1,700. A third change order was for canopy storm drain revisions; no cost was associated with that.

The contract amount for the high school addition is $5,716,681.43, down from the original amount of $5,731,000 due to previous change orders. Of that amount, $3,580,681.43 is completed work and stored materials. The district retains 5 percent, $179,034.07 and has paid out $3,059,647.36. The balance remaining is $2,657,034.07.

"We've paid approximately 54 percent of the contract," Hinshaw said.

Laura Brown, director of early childhood education, updated the board on the 2017 preschool screening for the new early childhood education program that will be open to 120 4-year-olds in August. Sixty of the pupils will be chosen based on their need as determined by the screening, while another 60 will be chosen as peers.

All children who are 4 on or before July 31, 2017, are eligible for screening, Brown said.

Screening will be held from 2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, and 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Greentree Christian Church.

Seventeen children have been signed up for screening appointments, she said. To schedule an appointment, call 458-0100 or 458-0193. In addition to the child, parents should take along immunization records, legal birth certificate and proof of residency such as a utility bill, lease/rental agreement or property tax statement.

Brown said the Emerging Language and Literacy Curriculum (ELLC) has been chosen as the PUPS Early Childhood curriculum.