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Building projects in Monett face delays due to supply and labor shortage

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:56 AM CDT
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MONETT, Mo. (KY3) - The city of Monett is seeing a lot of growth.

In 2021, crews completed the new CoxHealth hospital. The library and school district broke ground for new buildings. Due to labor and supply shortages, some projects won’t be completed by the original deadline. School leaders hoped the middle school would open in the fall of 2022. It looks more like March of 2023.

“We have got all our bid packages out, unfortunately, steel is in high demand and low supply,” said Monett School District Superintendent Mark Drake. “Usually lead times might be a couple of months for steel. Right now, we’re looking at eight-month lead times.”

The district will begin a remodeling project in the summer. This setback changes which students will attend what building.

“This actually makes it a little bit difficult for us,” said Dr. Drake. “Next year, Central Park Elementary will get remodeled into an early childhood center. So we won’t be able to send third and fourth graders in that building the following year. We will have to house first through fourth graders at the elementary school.”

The number of students enrolled in the district is higher than expected. The district has to find new spaces to use as classrooms until the building projects are completed.

“We have 195 kindergarteners, which is about 50 more than we were planning on this year,” said Dr. Drake. “So we’ve had to hire a new teacher for this year, and we’re probably going to have to hire some additional support. I think it’s going to make it crowded and we may have to look at some creative ways to make that work for the transitional period to make sure that we have enough rooms and places to serve kids.”

The Monett Library building project is on schedule. Library leaders believe this is because the library is a much smaller project than the school buildings.

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