Springfield Public Schools Task Force Eyes Improvements


SPRINGFIELD — The task force appointed by the school board is reviewing a study to improve 18 of its facilities that don’t meet condition scores. 

This stems from an architectural study that was presented Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

That study listed 18 facilities that did not meet the desired condition score of 70%. On Thursday, members of the task force were presented with some options for improvement.   

The task force has been assigned the job of helping the school board with recommendations for projects that could be on a future bond issue. Bridget Dierks is the Vice President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, and is serving as a Co-Chair to help facilitate the discussion for the task force. 

“The task force is made up of 30 people, and those 30 people all have very different opinions about what we should do moving forward, and that was intentional. The task force is made up of all kinds of different opinions,” says Dierks.  

The architecture firm that helped determine the condition scores for those sites per request of the school board, has also developed some options for renovation and/or reconstruction for the facilities. Those possible plans are what the task force will be looking at. 

“From this point forward we will be having discussions about what we would like to advise the school board to do in the future,” says Dierks. 

Carol Embree is the Deputy Superintendent with SPS, and she says there are different issues for schools that play into the need for upgrades. 

“We have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning issues. There are some buildings that actually have flooding that occurs anytime it rains. We also have some challenges with regard to the streets around certain buildings where there isn’t available space for the parent car rider lines, that type of thing.  Buildings with very poor lighting, and otherwise not conducive to a learning environment for our students,” says Embree. 

No decisions made yet on any of the schools, as these are preliminary plans by the task force that will be presented to the school board. For a full list of which schools are being looked at for improvements, you can find that here.  

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