OZARK, Mo. – After Springfield and Nixa Schools voted to approve school bonds last week, Ozark School District is hoping to do the same.
The Ozark School Board voted to approve a $57 million long-range plan that would fund expansion and remodel some schools.
The two-phase plan will first focus on repairing what the district has now and the second phase would pay for a new elementary school and add a $2 million wing to the junior high.
The district is in the planning stage now for some repairs and renovations that could come to the district soon.
“It is basically a way for us a to look at our planning criteria, to adapt to the growth that’s going on in Ozark and make sure we’re staying out in front of it, being as innovative with our students as we can be,” Superintendent Chris Bauman said.
The district had a demographic study done to account for the growth the city might expect to see in the next three, five, and ten years.
Bauman says it’s about keeping the community involved.
“It’s all about the community. Always want to go back to the community and say here’s what we found in our demographic study, based on that information, here’s what we think going forward.”
The plan focuses on repairs, renovations and redistribution of students between the schools.
The first step?
“We know we want to expand early childhood,” said Bauman. “Well, we’re not going to build a new facility for that, so where would be a good opportunity to move early childhood? Well, that would be in our existing district office.”
However, the plan doesn’t just include early childhood.
“Right now, our high school is 10-12,” Bauman said. “There was a lot of conversation about-they really would like to see that ninth grade migrate back up to the high school but of course, obviously, our high school is tight on space so how would we accomplish that?”
Bauman says a perk of the plan would be that it doesn’t only affect one group of students.
“In this particular case, and under this plan, every child from Pre-K to 12, would be impacted by this flow,” said Bauman. “Our vision for all of this, is to really to have our kids be future ready, to be able to prepare them for whatever careers might be down the road and we want to create facilities that allow that to occur.”
Bauman says the first phase of the plan would likely not cost voters any money, but the second phase might.
Voters could decide on a school bond for the plan as early as April 2020, Bauman says.