Alternate route suggested for Battle High dedication ceremony

Friday, May 31, 2013 | 4:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A public dedication ceremony for Muriel Williams Battle High School will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday. 

The formal ceremony will also include tours of the building, said Leigh Spence, guidance director at the new school.

Battle was named in honor of the late Muriel Battle, who served the Columbia Public Schools district for 40 years and held a doctorate in education.

The ceremony will be held in the gymnasium, where speakers will include members of the Battle family, three students who will attend Battle in the fall, Superintendent Chris Belcher, and Battle Principal Kim Presko. 

After the ceremony, student leaders will provide guided tours around the building, or visitors can take a self-guided tour. A documentary about Muriel Battle's husband, Eliot, will be playing on a loop in the performing arts center for viewing.

Although the subject of the documentary is Eliot Battle, Spence said it is as much about the school's namesake.

"Anything that is about one of the Battles is about both of them," Spence said. "The documentary talks about how the Battles participated in bringing the community along and desegregating the schools."

Spence said she hoped attendance would be good at the dedication. Recent, heavy rains and flooding and construction have complicated travel to the new facility. Rains Thursday night reduced attendance at a summer school open house when part of St. Charles Road flooded.

According to the Boone County Emergency Management Web page, Route Z at the I-70 overpass, which goes north to St. Charles Road, will be closed until Aug. 31 due to construction. The Missouri Department of Transportation is currently building a roundabout at the intersection of Route Z and St. Charles Road.

Spence suggested taking the Lake of the Woods exit from I-70 east. After staying on St. Charles Road for a short distance, turn left onto North Lake of the Woods Road. Take East Mexico Gravel Road to Route Z, then travel south and turn back onto St. Charles Road. The school is at 7575 E. St. Charles Road.

"I intend to take this alternate route because I think it will relieve some of the congestion," Spence said. "Regardless of the road conditions, it will be congested due to the building of the roundabout on St. Charles Road."

Battle will open its doors to ninth, tenth and 11th grade students on August 20, while high school seniors will remain at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools. 

Summer classes begin at Battle on Monday.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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