York Elementary to be torn down and rebuilt

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As a result of cost-savings with projects in Proposition S voters approved last year, the district was able to add one more school to the list of renovations, York Elementary.

KOLR10’s Frances Lin has this story.

“The community task force on facilities prioritize projects so that if we realized cost savings could do additional projects in this bond, they would want York Elementary to be added to the list,” said Stephen Hall, chief communications officer with Springfield Public Schools.

“We were pretty excited about it, we are sad to see the building go, though,” said Katelyn Beck, a parent at York Elementary School.

“When I heard that they were tearing it down and building a new York, I almost started crying,” said Brayden Roberts, a fifth-grader attending York Elementary School.

York parents and kids were emotional at first, saying they’ll always remember fun times at school.

“My fifth-grade teacher I absolutely adore,” Roberts said, “she is so nice.”

“Ms. Anderson, she’s a very nice teacher,” said Braxton Roberts, a fourth-grader attending York Elementary School, “and Mr. Carr helps me focus on my school work.”

But principal Lora Hopper said there are definitely improvements needed, “York has been in this community since 1911. 109 years ago.”

“It’s definitely going to start having structural issues before too long, and it definitely could stand to be updated,” said Beck.

“There’s not enough storage,” Elsa Pickens, another parent at York Elementary School, explained.

“Maybe the stage,” said Roberts, “it looks like a mess.”

Hopper remembers York’s history, “in 1910, there was a petition signed by a lot of people around in this area requesting a school. It opened in 1911, and it was petitioned by a civil war veteran. And his name was York.”

She gave KOLR10’s Frances Lin a quick tour, “this is the all-purpose room. It’s a gym, it’s a cafeteria. It’s an auditorium,” Hopper said, “that’s our mascot. Kids love having their picture taken.”

And say the new building will give them a sense of pride.

“Being north side kids, we kind of get a bad rep,” explained Beck, “I think it’ll definitely be a light in the neighborhood.”

And says the York family will be improving with the building.

“The handicap accessibility was the issue, for those classrooms because there’s no elevator, there’s no ramp,” Hopper said.

“I’m super excited because a few years ago we had a student who was in a wheelchair. And she couldn’t continue at York,” Pickens explained, “with a new building, there can be accommodations for every child.”

The new building is expected to start constructing in 2021, and students are expected to move back in the fall semester of 2022.

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