Fatima aims to start admin building construction Dec. 1

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 9/27/23

WESTPHALIA   — Fatima Superintendent Chuck Woody told board members last Wednesday that he anticipates construction of the admin building will begin Dec. 1 if all goes according to plan.

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Fatima aims to start admin building construction Dec. 1


WESTPHALIA  — Fatima Superintendent Chuck Woody told board members last Wednesday that he anticipates construction of the admin building will begin Dec. 1 if all goes according to plan.

“We’ll demolish the Kever house next month, do the dirt work, and add the slab,” said Woody. “We hope to have metal done near Dec. 1, and hopefully, we’ll be framed with most of the metal in place so they can work inside by Christmas.”

HVAC work should begin at the first of the year, with completion in March. “Once they start, it will go pretty fast,” said Woody.

During construction, the central office will be located in a trailer on campus. “We want everyone to know we’ll be here working through the construction in case someone needs something,” Woody noted.

The new building will have illuminated lettering on the front and side, with blue letters.

“One nice thing about this is we’ll be able to pay cash for the admin building this fiscal year,” said Woody.

The pre-engineered main building will have four bays, each with overhead doors, and a small mezzanine area with a headroom of about nine or 10 feet. There’s an open work area for maintenance as well. There’s a shared break room and two restrooms. Berendzen noted there is an office area for meetings, and the main office is open, similar to what Fatima has now.

The building will be metal on three sides, with a small parapet and brick similar to the main building.

As for the new high school building and gym, Woody said he hopes to have a bid opening near Thanksgiving. The job should be awarded after board members make a selection at the December meeting.

That means construction is slated to begin around Jan. 2.

Woody sought input from teachers moving into the new classrooms, with each given the opportunity to design the layout of their room. “I felt it was important to get their take on things since they will be in their rooms every day,” he added. “I don’t want my elementary folks to feel left out. When we get to the renovation part of the back end, I want them involved.”

There will be changes to where offices are in the new building. For example, Woody explained the nurse would move to the front, and the counselor is moving upstairs. Some rooms will be underground with the new design, and the hope is to create a wrestling room if funding allows.

“We’re speccing final details,” said Woody, noting teachers with labs have design preference.

He also said that data points and cameras have been placed throughout the new design. “We’re making sure there’s plenty of bandwidth for our teachers and students,” said Woody. “Overall, everything is coming together well, and I look forward to completing this project.”

Board members agreed to have Woody act as the building project manager for change orders if the amount involved is below a particular threshold to avoid needing board members to meet. The board will decide at its monthly meeting if the change order exceeds the designated amount.

In other business, graduation has been set for 4 p.m. on May 12. Discussion initially led to a 2 p.m. start, but Woody noted the Project Graduation Committee requested a time closer to the beginning of post-graduation festivities. He added that parking will be difficult at that time due to construction, noting that shuttles will take people to and from the Lions Club.

• Woody sent surveys to students, staff, and parents regarding culture and climate as part of Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP) 6, with a due date of Sept. 29. “If we ask a question with a lot of response, we should listen, or why ask at all?” Woody said, adding that more will be presented next month.

• Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and End Of Course (EOC) scores were introduced but not discussed at length. Woody said the district is heading in the right direction. Curriculum Coordinator Janah Massman will present data next month.

• The board hired Chris Ellis (Assistant Girls Basketball Coach), Baylee Oliver (Parents as Teachers), Patricia Bock (Preschool Aide), and Greg Stephens (Activity Driver).

• Bills were approved in the amount of $227,556.92.


High School Principal Matt Verslues noted the district will start working with Compass Health for School-Based Therapy near Oct. 2.

• Fatima is adding a Hiking Club, led by Anne Koenigsfeld, and a Risk Club, led by James Vignola.

The Fatima Hiking Club will allow students who enjoy hiking to join their peers on weekend treks. “We plan to meet once a month before or after school to discuss potential hikes,” said Koenigsfeld.

The club wants to go on one hike each month, probably on a Saturday or Sunday. Koenigsfeld noted the club will try to keep those hikes nearby, adding that students will likely have to provide their own transportation to the hiking destination.

Risk is a dynamic and intellectually stimulating board game designed to engage club students in strategic thinking, teamwork, and global diplomacy. The Risk Club’s goal is to provide a platform for students to develop critical thinking skills, enhance their knowledge of global geography, and foster teamwork and diplomacy through competitive gameplay.

• Enrollment in grades 7-12 was reported at 477 students with 96.4758% attendance.

Elementary Principal Melissa Wright noted there have been many reports of a smooth school year so far, and things are going well all the way around. “This is being felt by everyone,” she added. “We had 97 percent of our students attend our back-to-school open house.”

• Walkthrough evaluations are underway, and formative assessments for non-tenure teachers are happening. Wright said she’s been in classrooms daily.

• Picture retake day will be on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

• Grandparents Day will be split after a committee decided it would help with parking, with grades K-2 on Oct. 27 and grades 3-6 on Nov. 3. Information will be sent home to parents very soon.

• The PTO carnival will be on Friday, Sept. 29, and a Trunk or Treat will be held on Friday, Oct. 13.

• Enrollment in grades K-6 was reported at 250 students, with 96.83% attendance.

In her report, Special Education Director Kelly Wheelan noted that 125 current students are served by the district, with 100 Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), with four pending evaluations, and 25 504 plans, with two awaiting evaluation.

• Wheelan provided information on Medicaid re-validation for families. “That’s something that all of our families in the district that are Medicaid eligible will need to do themselves,” she said.

Wheelan will put information on Facebook so parents can contact the offices to ensure their addresses are updated. Those who don’t have an address in the system will be dropped from Medicaid, and up to an estimated 200,000 people will lose benefits as a result.