Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School is now set to open in January for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

Students and teachers spent the 2019-2020 school year at Cedar Ridge Elementary School while the Locust Street building was undergoing an $8 million renovation.

The school, on Locust near College Avenue had planned to welcome students back in August. However, the delay is due to a "combination of a wet winter and spring weather and challenges obtaining building supplies due to the COVID-19 virus precautions," district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said.

Enrollment at Locust Street was 201 last school year, according to the district website.

"Students will continue in the fall at Cedar Ridge Elementary School, where they will utilize a separate section of the building in order to maintain their cohesiveness as a school-community," Baumstark said.

Michelle Thomas, mother of rising second and fourth graders, is a little worried about the new reopening date.

“I know the kids will be excited to go back to their old school," Thomas said. "I feel like it would have been an easier transition had they tried to make it how they planned originally, and I feel like it is a rushed process now because the timeline has been thrown off.”

Locust Street opened in 1904 as Robert E. Lee Elementary School. The Columbia School Board voted to change the school's name in 2018. 

  • News reporter, summer 2020. I am a senior studying business and economic journalism with a business minor. You can reach me at

  • Elizabeth Brixey is the Columbia Missourian's education editor and an associate professor in the Missouri School of Journalism. She can be reached at (573) 882-2632 and

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