Parents and public leaders will come together soon to discuss the Columbia School District’s plans for a new public high school site.
The school district announced Tuesday the 21 people who will serve on a committee that will review the school district’s proposed southeast location and other potential sites submitted by public landowners before Sept. 4.
The committee is composed of both volunteers and those nominated by the Columbia School Board, said Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendant for student support services. Those chosen will be responsible for evaluating the proposals based on acreage, cost and an engineering and environmental survey. The committee will then present its findings to the school board for consideration at its Sept. 20 work session.
The committee’s creation comes after the school district announced this summer plans to build a new high school on 80 acres of available land southeast of Columbia. Part of the land was donated by Turner Vemer, and the second half was bought this year for $500,000. Some residents, particularly those living in north Columbia, have protested the location.
Sally Mackey, a parent of two and a resident of north Columbia who is now a committee member, said she e-mailed Superintendent Phyllis Chase directly to ask to be part of the committee.
“I was concerned because I’d like to see them put a high school up North,” Mackey said.
Ben Londeree is a committee member who is also part of the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition. He said he wanted to participate because though he thinks using the Vemer property might save money initially, it’s not the best idea because the school district will probably have to spend more for infrastructure.
“That’s not a very good trade in my mind,” he said.
Property owners who wish to donate or sell property to the school district can submit land proposals to the school district’s attorney by Sept. 4.