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Mo. District Spends $18 Million on New Athletic Facilities

Financial crisis? What financial crisis?

The St. Louis-based Pattonville school district must be surviving better than most these days, as it recently hired a construction company to begin work on $18 million worth of upgrades to the schools' athletic facilities over the next two years, according to a press release.

The district will be constructing a 32,000-plus-foot natatorium that will contain nearly 400 seats, an 11-lane swimming pool, new locker rooms, and a multipurpose room. Officials there also plan on largely renovating the football field by replacing the playing field with artificial turf, constructing a new home grandstand, and replacing the track, high jump, and other related areas.

Inside the school, the district plans on tearing up the high school's gym floor and replacing it, renovating and expanding the parking area, and building new locker rooms for athletes.

"New natatoriums are not commonplace in the challenging economic climate facing today's school districts," said Scott Wilson, president of the construction company. "We are partnering with the Pattonville school district to make this exciting project a success."

The district had a $41 million bond passed in November 2010 dedicated to three key school upgrades: ongoing maintenance and repairs of aging schools, enhancing school security systems, and renovations of the district's athletic facilities. It's worth noting that the bond money, by law, can't be used for day-to-day school expenses like transportation, textbooks, or teacher salaries.

So, the next time your principal tells you that your school can't afford that $300 expense for new basketballs for your phys. ed. class, remember that you can go right back and show him what the folks at Pattonville are up to. There's no way you get turned down after that.

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