OZARK, Mo. — Today, voters in Ozark will start to see the results of a bond issue they passed nearly a year ago.

Ozark Public Schools will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for their new Ozark Middle School storm shelter and a new entrance today.

The storm shelter at Ozark Middle School will be located in the courtyard where the gazebo is now and there are going to add six to eight classrooms as well.

According to the school’s website, the exterior of the storm shelter should be done by the beginning of the school year in August and the classrooms should be ready for use the following year in 2024.

When Ozark Middle School was originally built, it was a junior high and elementary school with two offices, which made it difficult for some to find.

Ozark Public School Superintendent Dr. Chris Bauman said these new upgrades will impact the students, staff and community in a big way.

“So we worked with our community through a strategic planning process. This storm shelter — safety and security — was one of the number one things that they wanted us to look at,” said Bauman. “So we’re really able to bring a great service and combining that office and adding the space for classrooms that we need as we continue to grow here in Ozark but then also add the safety and security level that we would have with the storm shelter.” 

The new entrance and visitor parking lot will be located on the southeast corner of the building where part of the playground is.

Curtis Chesick, the assistant superintendent of Ozark Public Schools operations, said that with the growing population in Ozark, traffic flow is another main priority.

“So we’re creating an opportunity for emergency vehicles, a space for emergency vehicles to come in, as well as visitors throughout the day regardless of the time they come,” said Chesick.

The ceremony will start at 5 p.m. this afternoon inside the cafeteria at the Ozark Middle School.