Construction plans revealed for new Early Learning Center in Canton

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) - Plans are moving forward to bring a new learning center to Canton, Missouri.

The Canton R-5 School District wants to provide more preschool options for families and get their kids ready for kindergarten.

Superintendent Jesse Uhlmeyer said many young children don’t have access to pre-school learning because the district’s classrooms are too small. He said many kids who enter kindergarten aren’t ready for it, so he hopes the new center will prepare them.

“This will hopefully allow that to happen and allow for them to have more success during their educational career,” Uhlmeyer said.

On Wednesday night, the district held a meeting for contractors from GRP Wegman to share their construction plans for the new building.

“I know we had some questions about details about furnishings and stuff like that,” Uhlmeyer said. “Those are things that we will make sure that we do along the way. Right now it’s kind of getting the overall size of the building and then the initial pricing of the building in place.”

GRP Wegman Business Development Director Fred Weber said the building will be 9600 square feet and located between the high school and vocational building.

“It’ll have classrooms ranging anywhere from zero in age all the way up to four, restrooms, a kitchenette,” he said.

Teachers and staff members shared their thoughts on storage space, the number of bathrooms and other construction concerns.

Weber said the meeting was beneficial for their planning process.

“We didn’t have to go back to the drawing board so to speak, but we do have some great ideas to take back from a storage standpoint, how the teacher uses the room, how the kids use the room,” Weber said.

Weber said they plan to bring more formalized documents in front of the school board in October to start the bidding process.

Back in January, the school board proposed a $3.5 million general obligation bond to pay for the project. The bond passed on the April ballot. It extended their current debt service tax levy of 55 cents over the next 8 years.

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