CPS continues planning for new middle school, other improvement projects

CPS continues planning for new middle...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Public Schools officials are continuing to plan for a new middle school in south Columbia after the city council approved preliminary plans for a building site.

The school district is looking to build a $34 million middle school at the site east of Sinclair Road and south of Chesterfield Drive. The city council approved the preliminary plat at its Jan. 16 meeting.

The district's Long Range Facilities Planning Committee heard updates on the project from contractors and an architect at its meeting Thursday.

A final plat still needs to be approved by the city council. Columbia Public Schools will soon begin bidding out the project and hope to break ground in June.

District officials also laid out how it plans to spend funds if voters approve a $30 million bond issue in April. Superintendent Dr. Peter Stiepleman said a majority of the money would go toward new construction, like the new middle school, and building additions.

CPS plans to put $5 million toward the new middle school with the additional $29 million coming from funds approved by voters in 2014 and 2016 bond issues.

The school district is also looking to invest $6 million in renovations to Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School to eliminate seven trailers. 

"In 2020 when the new middle school opens and Lee expansion is done, we’ll have under 20 trailers in the school district," Dr. Stiepleman said. "That’s amazing."

A design committee has been meeting to discuss plans for the renovation. The 2-year project is expected to get underway in May 2019.

Stiepleman said the district has intentionally left space at Cedar Ridge Elementary for Lee students during the construction.

Another $3.5 million from the bond issue would go toward an addition at an elementary school. Stiepleman said the district is looking at adding on to Rock Bridge Elementary, Battle Elementary or Midway Heights Elementary. Stiepleman said those areas of Columbia are expected to see a 30 percent increase in growth over the next decade.

Voters will decide on the $30 million bond issue on April 3. You can find more projects from the bond issue the district has planned here.

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