“The state of Missouri has a lot of funding that they’re putting towards early childhood,” the superintendent says.
The Warren County R-III School District would be able to provide more early childhood programming if a new elementary school is constructed.
The Warren County R-III Board of Education approved using a no tax increase bond issue to build an elementary school on property the district owns north of Interstate 70, pending funding availability. If the April 2024 bond issue is approved, the district’s plan is to move Daniel Boone Elementary from its current site to the new building. The current Daniel Boone Elementary building would be used for early childhood.
Warren County R-III Superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith noted the need for the new elementary school, with the houses being built in the district.
He said one of the district’s major issues, aside from Warrior Ridge Elementary being at capacity, is the early childhood programming having no space for expansion. With the additional space, the district could provide more early childhood programming.
“The state of Missouri has a lot of funding that they’re putting towards early childhood,” Klinginsmith said. “And we would like to bring some of those tax dollars back to the community. Provide those services to our kids. We have to have space to do that. And so to expand our early childhood program, we’ve got to find a new home for them.”
If the new elementary school building is constructed, the district would need to look at drawing new boundaries for the district’s three elementary schools. Klinginsmith said the district would conduct a study a year or two before the building opens. While he hopes to not move the boundaries too much, it is going to be required to some degree, he said.
“Obviously, there’s going to be some boundary changes,” Klinginsmith said. “Ashland Meadows would obviously go there. And then the students across the street would go there. And probably people north of the property would go there. We’d have to look at it, see how it all works out and what enrollment’s like in all the other buildings.”
Klinginsmith stressed the district is using estimates of $400 per square foot for the building, which he characterized as high estimate numbers. The $400 per square foot estimate would cost the district about $36 million, Klinginsmith said.
Klinginsmith said the district would like to get as close to an exact number as possible before the election. While the architects could do a full bid package, that is an expense for the district. There is a risk with obtaining a full bid package, since they would not get anything for their money spent on the full bid package if the bond fails. The full bid package is an expensive endeavor for the district to take on, Klinginsmith stressed.
“There’s some discussion that’s going to need to be had around that,” Klinginsmith said. “Do we want to go ahead and spend the money to get the bid package put together? Because it’s expensive. And it’s not cheap to do that. Or do we want to do the things we know we’ll need for sure?”
Klinginsmith knows the district will need a survey, borings of the property and drawings of the building, he said.