Committee chosen to discuss high school site

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | 10:20 p.m. CDT; updated 4:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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.

Committee members

Andy Anderson, architect, DLR Group Dave Babel, Realtor, Plaza Real Estate Services Lynda Baumgartner, owner, Image Technologies of Missouri; member, Columbia Public Schools Foundation Glen Ehrhardt, attorney, Rogers, Ehrhardt & Weber; Chamber of Commerce Executive Board member Bill Elder, MU Extension, Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis Skip Elkin, Boone County commissioner Dave Griggs, owner, Flooring America; past chairman, REDI Executive Board Jim King, executive director, Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals Don Laird, president, Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ben Londeree, member, Boone County Smart Growth Coalition Don Ludwig, committee chairman, District Enrollment Planning Committees Sally Mackey, parent John McCormick, property owner adjacent to Vemer property Robert Nolke, retired educator, member of Columbia Public Schools Foundation Jim Ritter, retired superintendent Tommy Sallee, parent Valerie Shaw, vice president of Commerce Bank Steve Smith, president of Premier Bank Don Stamper, executive director Central Missouri Development Council, former Boone County presiding commissioner Tim Teddy, director of Columbia Planning and Development Ian Thomas, executive director of the PedNet Coalition Columbia School District attorney David Walker and Columbia School District consultant Chris Mallory will serve as resources for the committee.

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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.

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