From Administration

The past few weeks I have been sharing information regarding the November Bond Issue. This week I am outlining major components of the issue.

Renovation of North Elementary. North was constructed in 1953. It remains a great building with many years of service left ahead. However the heat and air is antiquated. A steam boiler is still utilized to heat much of the building. Calcium buildup in pipes causes some rooms to be over-heated and others to be cold. Therefore, the building will be refit to replace the old boiler system. A new modern entry and improved office and counseling areas will be constructed. The cafeteria will be totally remodeled removing walls to provide a “commons” look and feel. Improvements will also occur to the building library to provide greater student accessibility.

Renovation of Willard Intermediate School and classroom addition. The Intermediate School and North Elementary are actually one large connected facility. District leadership agreed that it was best to remodel the entire facility at the same time. Additional classrooms are needed to accommodate the growth of students. Therefore the plan is to construct six new classrooms on the west side. A newly remodeled building front is also planned for the Intermediate School. Office space and entry will be remodeled to support enhanced security and efficiency. Additional square footage will create opportunities to improve the flow of students from one part of the building to another.

HS Multipurpose Building. Band, Color Guard, and ROTC are activities at the high school that have over 450 students. These students are often at a loss for a dedicated practice space. These groups schedule building gymnasiums and compete for time along with all athletic groups. Unfortunately the district has been forced to limit drill practice on the gym floors due to the fact that dropped rifles and flags have caused damage to the wood floors. (Yes students do drop their rifle / flag once in a while!) The Multipurpose building will not have a wood floor to limit practice. The building is planned to be a large clear-span facility measuring approximately 100x150 feet. This space will have high ceilings of approximate 23-25 feet allowing for rifles and flags to fly in the air. The space will be open for all HS groups to utilize. This will be phase one of a multi-phase project. In the future classroom for band and ROTC may be added to this building for direct access to drill space.

WOHE Classroom Addition.
Orchard Hills opened in 2007 with less approximately 260 students. Today the enrollment is 369 students and the building is approaching capacity. Orchard Hills remains one of the districts fastest growing schools. An addition of four classrooms and additional learning space will allow for continued growth 4-5 years into the future. WOHE Administration and Teachers are excited about 21st Century Learning design for this addition.

Student Activities. Track / Turf / Tennis - The last student activity added at Willard High School was wrestling in 2002. Since that time the high school has grown by over 400 students. That is the size of Ash Grove, Walnut Grove, and Everton high schools put together! There are still only 5 basketball players on the court, 6 volleyball players on the court, 9 baseball and softball players on the field, etc…… Tennis will provide additional opportunity for these students to get plugged into school. It is proven time after time that students who are involved in activities also achieve greater success in academics.

The track is significantly past its normal lifespan. The district painted the track 3 years ago to gain a couple more years however the base underneath the track is severely degraded. The district has learned that significant savings occurs when track and turf facilities are made at the same time. Therefore it is advantageous to proceed with both projects concurrently. It is proven that turf provides greater safety to athletes and reduces severe injury year after year.

Land. Willard Public Schools continues to grow and therefore we are always on the lookout for possible large tracks of property which could be used for future schools. Two opportunities have presented themselves to the district. One piece of land was in foreclosure and the district was offered by the current owner. One parcel is close to Orchard Hills and the other is close to Willard. The district has negotiated fair prices on both pieces of property. The price is significantly less then what was paid several years ago prior to the recession.

Stay tuned to next week’s Pride to learn how the Bond Issue will affect your pocket book!

Have a great weekend!

Kent Medlin
Superintendent

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Accepting Applications for Substitutes

Willard Schools is currently accepting applications for substitute teachers. These are part time, as needed positions during the school day. If interested please complete an online application.

Panther Run

Get a group together and join us at the Care to Learn Panther Run on Saturday, October 4, 2014.  Lots of fun and prizes for those who participate.  Free T-Shirt. We challenge all buildings to get a group and join us to support Willard Schools!!!
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SCRAP-A-PALOOZA 2

FFA, FCCLA and Archery clubs are holding another scrapbooking fund-raiser. This event will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Click on this link for more information Scrap-a-palooza 2.pdf

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