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Columbia School Board to vote on Field property usage

Monday, November 9, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board will vote on how to use Field Elementary School and the property at 4600 Bethel Rd. during its meeting Monday.

On Jan. 4, Field Elementary School students will transfer to Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School. The board will soon close on the purchase of the  Bethel Road property, which will provide more space for district programs.

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher and the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee will recommend four ways of using the two properties:

  • Relocation of the third- through fifth-grade gifted education program, which iscurrently housed at 916-918 Bernadette Dr., to the Field Elementary School building beginning with the 2010-11 school year.
  • Opening additional early childhood classrooms at the Field Elementary School building beginning with the 2010-11 school year.
  • Relocating the Bearfield program and after-school education services for students to the Bethel Road facility beginning with the 2010-11 school year.
  • Relocation of space for adult offices to meet district needs.

“We have a huge need for our early childhood program,” said Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Coordinator. “We have an extensive waiting list and the new facilities will give us the opportunity to expand the program.”

Baumstark said the purchase of the Bethel Road property and the vacancy at Field Elementary will allow the district to get out of a number of leases, including Bearfield School, and into buildings they own.

The board will also vote on a $9,187,000 General Obligation Qualified School Construction Bond and the issuance of a $2,860,000 lease purchase agreement for the installation of equipment related to energy projects at Russell Boulevard, Fairview, Blue Ridge, Benton and Parkade elementary schools.

“Essentially we are working on paying ourselves back,”said Dr. Nick Boren, Chief Operations Officer. Construction on the elementary schools was completed at the beginning of last summer. The board covered the expenses of the project and plans to use the lease purchase to replenish district funds.

Other items on the agenda include a proposal for early retirement and early resignation notice stipends and a proposed band curriculum change that would remove marching band from Columbia Public Schools’ junior high schools. The action was tabled last month after several community members spoke out against the change.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the districts’ Administration Building, 1818 Worley St.

Missourian reporter Sarah Horn contributed to this report.

 


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