R-1 board hears walking trail report

R-1 board hears

walking trail report

Ray Scherer

The Gasconade County R-1 Board of Education will review further details of a joint project by a Hermann senior citizens group to build a walking trail near the high school.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Smith told board members last Thursday night about a partnership between the district and the nonprofit Messmer & Eitmann Foundation to create the trail on property between the senior center on Highway 19 and the high school.

Smith said the district became involved in the idea several months ago, after he was approached by the foundation. There is already a sense that the school and nonprofit could both benefit from the trail, based on the report given the board. The path could eliminate the need for high school athletes to use city streets for running practice.

"This would actually come behind our property" at the high school, said Smith. "Maybe some of our cross country runners could use this."

Approval of a property easement would be necessary in order for the trail partnership to function. The board also expressed the need to thoroughly investigate any pertinent liability issues in coordinating the project.

"I think it's an excellent idea," said board President Mark Brooks of the proposed trail.

Bob Kirchhofer, representing the foundation, will be invited to the next school board meeting to explain the project, according to Smith.

Also Thursday night, the board approved an upgrade for the Hermann Elementary School playground. Smith said the district will be purchasing swings from ABCreative Inc., a Midwest regional playground company, for slightly more than $34,000. The equipment will feature seven belt swings, one freedom handicapped-access swing, two seat rockers, a border system, a handicapped-accessible ramp, playmats, rubber mulch, and installation.

"They've been excited talking about it," said Elementary Principal Kendra Brune.

The new equipment will replace outdated play gear for the elementary school.

"I feel like this was a reasonable way for us to move on that," Smith said of the project.

Turf that had formerly adorned Bearcat Memorial Stadium was recently installed outside the school to benefit the students' exercise.