Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shelter area to be reality for students

December 21, 2006

Thanks to numerous fundraisers and contributions, the dream of a shelter will become a reality for Baldwin City elementary students.

After nearly three years of planning and collecting money, the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center received its final approval for the shelter at the Dec. 11 Board of Education meeting.

BESIC fifth graders Chad Berg, Michael Burton and Luke Fursman presented the school board with the shelter idea. They also asked for $1,000 to help fund the project, which was approved unanimously.

"I thought the kids did a great job," BESIC Principal Tom Mundinger said. "They were well prepared and the board would much rather hear from the kids than the adults. I thought Chad, Michael and Luke did a great job, because that is tough when you are 10-years-old."

Board Member Ruth Barkley liked the idea and was happy to give money to the school.

"No one knows the needs of the buildings like those who use them every day," Barkley said. "The IC students, staff and parents have demonstrated great diligence and perseverance with this plan. I applaud the presentation made by the three young representatives, who clearly conveyed their purpose with poise and a great deal of pride."

Mundinger and the students signed the contract for the shelter on Wednesday. Mundinger said the company would begin construction in several weeks, but he hopes to have the shelter built in the spring.

"It takes them about six weeks before they get started," Mundinger said. "We're hoping, if the weather cooperates, that it will be completed by spring break."

Nearly half of the shelter will be paid for with money that the students have raised during the three-year period. The BESIC students have raised funds using box tops, bake sales, morning book store and a silent auction.

"The kids have collected $4,500 dollars," Mundinger said. "The PTO is going to provide about $1,500. The school board said it would give us $1,000 and we are going to take about $2,500 out of our building budget. That gives us about $9,500, which is about what the project will cost."

The shelter at BESIC will be almost identical to the building that stands in the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center playground. The BESIC shelter will be 40 feet by 20 feet.

Mundinger said it will be used for several things by the school's classes and maybe one day by the community when the ball fields are constructed near the school.

"It will be used for a lot of different things," Mundinger said. "One is to provide shelter during recess when the sun is beating down. It's not unusual to have some kids who need to do school work while others are out at recess. It's also not unusual for a class to go out there and have lunch. The teacher may decide it's nice out so we're going to go outside and eat. It might be used for an outside activity by a class or even a special treat."

The planning for the shelter dates back to the winter of 2003, before the BESIC building was even constructed.

"We actually started working on that project during the final year of construction for this building," Mundinger said. "The student council decided they wanted to build a shelter out here. Part of it is because I think they were used to having one at the primary center."

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