Joplin releases plans for new elementary school and Kelsey Norman expansion

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Despite building new schools in recent years, the Joplin School District wants to build another.

At a press conference at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joplin School District released plans for a new combined elementary school as well as the expansion of an existing structure.

And backing the plan, which does not include a tax increase, are members of the “Vote Yes” campaign.

The expansion would occur at Kelsey Norman Elementary.

Kelli Perigo, Vote Yes Campaign Co-Chair, said, “Kelsey Norman it will be able to get kids out of trailers and into actual learning environments and give those teachers for music, P.E., art the space to do those that class work in actual spaces.”

The new school will be located on Dover Hill, a 67,500 square foot facility which will hold 450 students, and replace the district’s two oldest buildings dating back to the 1920’s.

It will have two entrances off of Main Street–with bus and parent drop off lanes separated.

The school will have sidewalks that connect to Murphy Boulevard Park and Landreth Trail.

Dr. Melinda Moss, Joplin Schools Superintendent, said, “We have an entrance off of Main is a bit northerly to the site, and then of course an entrance off of Murphy Boulevard, right now those gates, are where those gates are for flood plane, we have permission to move those gates about 40 feet to the west which is gonna help with that entrance onto the campus off of Murphy.”

District officials say Columbia Elementary School will be demolished under the plan but they aren’t sure about the fate of the attached storms safe room.

They say there is interest in someone developing West Central.

The measure will be on the April 7th ballot and needs a four sevenths majority to pass.

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