Summer construction improves school safety

Summer construction improves school safety
Posted on 08/15/2022
Summer Maintenance 2022Mehlville School District continued to fulfill promises made to our community following the approval of Prop S. Several Prop S projects started in June.  While many schools received minor upgrades, several underwent major construction projects that will make school safer for students when they return this fall.

In addition to the projects listed below, you can find up-to-date construction schedules for every school on the Prop S section of our website

Security entrances 
The entrances to Bierbaum Elementary, Blades Elementary, Oakville Elementary, Rogers Elementary, Bernard Middle and Oakville High are undergoing renovations to improve security and make the school safer for students and staff. These projects are being completed using funding from Prop S.Bernard security entrance construction
Photo: Crews dig trenches at Bernard to pour concrete for the school’s new security entrance.

Security entrances include an exterior and interior door. Visitors are admitted through the exterior door and must check in with a staff member immediately upon entry before gaining access to the rest of the school.

“Our schools were designed at a point in time where we weren’t as concerned about who was entering our schools,” said Dr. Chad Dickemper, executive director of planning and operations. “It’s a different world than when our schools were created. There are many schools in our district, as identified by the Facilities Steering Committee, where you walk into school and do not have immediate access to the office. Prop S will make sure our secretaries and principals know who is coming into the building at all times.”
Rogers security entrance construction
Photo: Crews prepare for the construction of a security entrance at Rogers Elementary.

Work on each of the security entrances will continue into the fall. Parents should look for communication from their child’s principal regarding any changes to procedures while work continues. 

“Because there is such ongoing work with Prop S, we know that this will create some inconveniences for our families with different schools having projects completed at different times,” said Dr. Dickemper. “We want to thank everyone for their patience. This will be a positive for our schools, and the investment of time, patience and community resources is well worth it.”

Up next: Every school in Mehlville School District is scheduled to receive a security entrance. Next summer, Forder Elementary, Hagemann Elementary, MOSAIC Elementary, Point Elementary, Trautwein Elementary, Wohlwend Elementary, Buerkle Middle and Washington Middle are on the docket. John Cary Early Childhood, Beasley Elementary, Wohlwend Elementary, Oakville Middle and Mehlville High are slated to have work completed in summer 2024.

Oakville High School restrooms
In addition to construction on a security entrance, Oakville High School’s restrooms in the commons area and near the stadium were renovated. Two single-stall restrooms were also added on the first floor. This project was paid for using funds from Prop S.
OHS restroom renovationsPhoto: Many of the restrooms in Oakville High School were original to the building before renovations this summer. 

“A lot of the restroom spaces that we have are original to the building,” said Brian Brennan, principal of Oakville High School. “We were having plumbing issues, and the fixtures in those restrooms were outdated.”  

While the commons restroom renovations were important for students, the upgrades to the stadium restrooms were important for both students and visitors. There have been drainage issues with those restrooms during large events for several years.

Parking lot safety solutions
Long overdue safety upgrades are also being made to the parking lot configurations at Oakville Elementary and Rogers Elementary. Work at both schools is being paid for with Prop S.
OES parking lot construction
Photo: Crews pour asphalt for the new parking lot at Oakville Elementary School.

At Oakville Elementary, a neighboring home purchased by the district in 2020 was demolished to allow for the construction of a new parking lot. The parking lot addition will help alleviate safety issues during arrival and dismissal.

“The configuration of the parking lot previously required our buses to go behind our campus, which made it difficult to see the students as they got onto and off of the bus,” said Meagan Ochoa, principal of Oakville Elementary School. “Anytime you impede the vision of drivers, that’s a safety issues for our students.”

The parking lot expansion should also help reduce traffic congestion at the intersection of Milburn and Yaeger, where there is often backups during arrival and dismissal.
Rogers parking lot construction
Photo: A barrier was added between the parking lot and playground at Rogers Elementary to make recess safer for students.

Meanwhile at Rogers Elementary, changes were made to make the parking lot and playground safer for students. 

“The work on the parking lot and playground is important to keep our students safe,” said Dr. Patrick Keenoy, principal of Rogers Elementary School. “I never liked the fact that our parking lot and cars were right up against the area where kids were playing.” 

The work at Rogers Elementary to create more separation between the playground and parking lot is ongoing. It is expected to be completed in January 2023.

In addition to these major projects, schools across the district had sealing and striping completed in their parking lots as needed.

HVAC upgrades
Several schools also received upgrades to their heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems this summer. 

Rogers Elementary received a complete HVAC replacement. That project was originally supposed to be completed using Prop S funds. Due to rising construction costs, the Mehlville Board of Education reallocated money from federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds to complete this project and keep other projects across the district on track for completion. 

“The HVAC system working well is important for student learning because it provides a classroom climate that will help the students and our staff members not be in a room that’s either freezing or extremely warm,” said Dr. Keenoy. “Removing those distractions is important so our students can focus on learning.”

In addition to the HVAC replacement at Rogers Elementary, HVAC upgrades also occurred at Beasley Elementary, Oakville Elementary and Point Elementary. These projects were also funded using ESSER.
Point HVAC construction

Photo: Point Elementary School received a new rooftop HVAC unit this summer.

Roof work
Roofing work was completed at John Cary Early Childhood, Beasley Elementary, Trautwein Elementary, Wohlwend Elementary, Washington Middle and Mehlville High.

Roof work at Washington Middle was completed using funds from Prop A and Prop S. Roofing projects at John Cary Early Childhood, Beasley Elementary, Trautwein Elementary, Wohlwend Elementary and Mehlville High were completed using Prop A.

The Mehlville School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity and other characteristics protected by law. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: contact Adam Smith at 314-467-5006 or [email protected].