Progress made toward new Fredericktown middle school after fire

FREDERICKTOWN, MO (KFVS) - Finally there are signs of progress in Fredericktown after fire destroyed their middle school in April of 2010.

"We've begun site construction," said Dr. Kelly Burlison, superintendent. "We're moving ahead with plans for the new school between the High School and the Football Field. Crews are getting the dirt ready so we can start putting in the foundation soon."

Investigators believe two juveniles set the fire at the middle school. Details about the investigation are limited due to the fact juveniles are involved.

"Those two students were tried and are now serving time in the detention center," said Dr. Burlison.

Now the community focuses on progress. The school is set to be 60,000 square feet. Burlison says construction on the actual building will begin by the start of the school year in the fall of 2011. They are still in the process of choosing a contractor for the work, but plan to have that finalized quickly.

"The kids have been going to school in modular buildings," said Dr. Burlison. "They should only have one more year of that. We hope by August of 2012 they start the year in a new school."

About 425 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders attend the middle school.

"We are excited insurance is picking up the bill," Dr. Burlison said.  "That way we don't have to ask the tax payers for money."

No word year on how much the new building will cost.

In light of storms and hope and events in places like Joplin, Dr. Burlison says they are asking FEMA for a grant for a storm shelter.

"It should be approved," said Dr. Burlison. "It will be built to withstand and F5 tornado and be open to not only the students but also the community. We feel it's more important now than ever."

Dr. Burlison says they are still considering what to do with the old building.

"A lot of people in the community love that building," said Dr. Burlison. "But we are all excited about getting the ground ready for a new school."

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