Gasconade R-2 administrators, committee agree to a performing arts center should be included in facilities wishlist

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer

A March 16 article reported on a facilities wishlist from Gasconade County R-2 School District administrators. During the Feb. 28 Longe Range Facilities Planning Committee meeting,

Owensville High School Principal Kris Altemeyer, who was not present due to an overlapping school event, requested a performing arts theater in his report. The report was sent to Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy to present. “Kris would like a performing arts center,” Hardy said to laughter in the room.

Since the article came out on Wednesday, some parents and theater supporters have expressed concerns that those present in the room laughed derogatorily because an arts center is not needed.

However, administrators agree that is the furthest from the truth. Those attending the meeting included some committee members from 2015 who originally supported a performing arts theater as a future project, board members who openly support the arts community, and administrators who were whole-heartedly requesting the center.

“The laughter in the room was not derogatory, it was the only project that was not completed in the last bond issue,” Hardy explained of the laughter that reflected an “of course!” attitude. “So it should appear on a new (bond) issue if one is ran.”

The room at large was in agreement during the discussion that the arts center would be on the wishlist of current projects they would like to see completed and the laughter was in agreement with Altemeyer’s request.

Hardy further explained why they would like to see an arts center on campus. “The sound and acoustics are much better for theatrical performances, band performances and choir performances and would also allow us a place to hold art shows for communities that come in and admire our student artwork,” she said. “It gives students a place and rooms to practice in a better acoustical environment.” The board and committee members made plans to complete building tours in April to discuss and search out facility needs within the district.

Board members agreed to meet at 3:30 pm on April 4, in the OHS teacher’s parking lot, and move on to OMS. They will meet again at 3:30 pm on April 11 at Gerald Elementary School (GES) in the east side teacher’s parking lot and end at the Owensville Elementary School (OES) facility.

William E. Bennett