The Columbia Board of Education has approved construction to begin on a nearly $19 million project to build a new elementary school northeast of Columbia, adjacent to Battle High School. The board approved a bid by K&S Construction of St. Louis, the lowest bidder for the project. The original budget for the project was $12 million but the board increased that based on the projected need for capitalized interest and collective bond premiums. The board plans to allocate some of the funds to Hickman and Rock Bridge gymnasium projects, in addition to increasing the project scope of Columbia's 21st elementary school.
Community Relations Director of Columbia Public Schools, Michelle Baumstark states that this new elementary school will not be the only one in the near future. "The goal for the district is over the next ten years to build an additional four elementary schools," she said, "this one being one of those four as planned. So we are excited to be moving along with that process, obviously it has taken us a long time to get to this point.”
The project is part of the $120 million bond issue for school construction projects passed by voters in April 2010. The school is slated to open in fall 2015, and the Elementary School Naming Committee will decide the school's official title.