Groundbreaking ceremony to be held for south Columbia elementary school

Groundbreaking ceremony to be held for south Columbia elementary school

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 | 7:35 p.m. CST; updated 6:17 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 6, 2014

Three Carry-All Scrapers are parked at the site of the new elementary school off of Route KK on Wednesday. The scrapers help move dirt around and level the site before construction begins.  

COLUMBIA — As the rain subsided Tuesday morning, the near-empty lot on the northwest corner of Scott Boulevard and Route KK was quiet.

Tractors and bulldozers sat idle on the sprawling patch of dirt etched by track marks. The only clear sounds were of a few passing cars and a chirping flock of birds overhead.

That will change when this 30-acre lot is transformed into the 21st elementary school for Columbia Public Schools. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday.

Spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said Columbia School Board members, district administrators, architects, construction managers and Columbia and Boone County officials will attend the ceremony. The district has also invited the surrounding neighborhoods.

“We want to include anybody in the process who’s going to be involved (with this school) over the next two years,” Baumstark said.

The groundbreaking will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and ceremonial shoveling. Superintendent Peter Stiepleman and school board President Christine King will also say a few words. Baumstark said the event will last 30 to 45 minutes.

Site preparation is underway at the location for the new school, which has not yet been named. The district bought the site from the Sapp family about a year ago for $2.8 million.

Baumstark said the district is in the process of establishing a boundary committee to set new school attendance zones. It will look at guiding principles including accessibility for families, “walkability” and natural boundaries such as creek beds, she said. The committee is expected to finish in April 2015, according to district information.

According to previous Missourian reporting, Orf Construction’s bid of $16 million won the contract to serve as the general contractor for the school. It is expected to open for the 2016-17 school year.

Eliot Battle Elementary School, the district’s 20th elementary school, is under construction in northeast Columbia. Jeri Petre, principal of Derby Ridge Elementary School, will be recommended to the school board to lead Battle Elementary.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

Columbia Missourian