Joplin School Board considers proposal, focusing on three elementary schools



The Joplin School Board is considering a proposal that could mean construction to three elementary schools.

Tuesday night, the Long-Term Facility Committee gave its recommendations to the Joplin School Board. The 22 member board has spent some considerable time gathering information from around the district, seeing what was needed on buildings going forward. Board members say the most work needs to be done on three elementary schools: Kelsey Norman, Columbia and West Central.


The biggest concerns at Kelsey Norman is the school is still using two modular units as classroom and there wasn’t enough space for one-on-one attention between students and teachers. So the committee recommends the board approve a $2.875 million addition that would go towards new classrooms, offices and other spaces.


At Columbia Elementary, members found significant structural problems in multiple areas of the building, including the school’s safe room. They also found the 90-year-old structure was on too small of acreage.


Meanwhile, at West Central Elementary School, members voiced concerns with how close the building was to 7th Street, ADA insufficiency and too small of acreage.

The committee is recommending the district combine West Central and Columbia Elementary Schools at a new site that would house 450 students. That would cost the district $19.6 million.

If the board approves either of these projects, they could be paid for through a no tax bond issue that would go on the April 2020 ballot.

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