school renovation plans change into demolish and rebuild for one school

Local News
Rev Steve Heather KOLR

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A big part of Williams Elementary School’s renovations provided by Proposition S will now be demolished and built new.

School officials say, after careful examination, renovating the old parts of the building would actually cost almost the same than just building new.

Springfield Public Schools’ Travis Shaw says the original plan from conceptual design was to add square footage to the building to make it a larger space.

“It made a lot more sense to go in and renovate a smaller portion of the building, take down as much as we could within our budget, and build new to be able to provide really the best space that we could for our kids,” Shaw said.

Shaw says another big reason why the school is planning to build new is safety.

“The oldest part of the building sits 36 inches higher than everything else, so if we were to keep that piece, for example, then we have stairs that we have to deal with, ramps that we have to deal with,” Shaw said.

Some people have taken to Facebook to express their concerns with tearing down parts of the building that has been there since 1930.

Richard Crabtree asked why the district is only rebuilding Williams Elementary and not other schools.

Speech and language therapist Jan Weaver says it breaks her heart and if they have to do this, she hopes they document it.

Joan Cole says both her sons went there, why can’t they do something else to the building?

“We love the historical perspective of buildings as well, but when it comes down to really what makes the most sense from feasibility piece of it, and really getting a building up to the standards that we need for today’s schools, it just didn’t make sense,” Shaw said. “It was going to take literally stripping back all the walls, once you get in the walls, you never know what you’re going to find, it was going to deal with roofing.”

The district plans to start building new this summer and the project should take around 12 months.

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