Mercer County Unit Office will be in Apollo

Robert Blackford/Editor

After much debate and an opinion from its newly hired architect, the unit office for the new Mercer County School District will be in Aledo.

Board member Steve Willits ultimately motioned for Boucher to select the spot for the office and the motion passed 5-1 with Don Yates voting against it.

Yates had argued that the office should be at the Joy building where the Westmer office had been. That spot would be central to the district which will have schools in New Boston, Joy and Aledo.

Boucher said that he felt it was important to be close to the high school and pointed out that 1,000 students in the district would be located in Aledo. Seventy-five percent of the staff is located in Aledo as well.

Architect's opinion

Kenyon and Associates architect Bill Hawkinson gave a presentation on his thoughts for the unit office from an architect's perspective.

Hawkinson preferred the Apollo site in regards to space concerns noting 1,130 square feet of office space as well as the large meeting office space. The superintendent's office at Westmer is 852 square feet.

Hawkinson preferred the Joy site in regards to parking concerns. The spaces are convenient at Joy, though the parking lot needs to be repaved. Parking is at a premium at the Apollo location.

Hawkinson had a hard time finding handicap accessible restrooms at the Joy site until they were pointed out to him and noted that it is difficult to get to them from the superintendent's office.

Hawkinson favored the Apollo site for its privacy concerns but the Joy site for its air conditioning.

He felt lighting and telephone accessibility issues were similar at each site.

Boucher said he believed he could move in the school psychologist's office at Apollo with minimum fuss and cost.