The $80 million is divided into two tranches of $40 million. The first half will be available for the district in July, while the second half will be two years away. This money will be used for renovations and an addition to the Columbia Area Career Center, an addition to Battle Elementary School, the construction of two elementary schools and maintenance of the facilities.
The Columbia Area Career Center projects on South Providence Road near Rock Bridge High School were divided into two phases: renovations and additions. The district does not yet know who will be the first.
Recently, contractors performed a 3D scan of the building. The district will begin meeting with staff and faculty to discuss their needs for the career center and include them in the design process. COO Randy Gooch said he held a listening session for stakeholders, business owners and students.
The design process takes an average of six months, so Gooch said groundbreaking will likely take place in early 2023. As many programs as can continue to operate during construction will, he said.
The district is beginning its preliminary design process for the addition to Battle Elementary School, north of East St. Charles Road in northeast Colombia. Gooch said that by early 2023 it expects to have a solid design and will start preparing tender documents.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2023.
New elementary schools
The first elementary school will be on the campus of John Warner Middle School, east of Scott Boulevard and south of Nifong Boulevard in southwestern Columbia.
Gooch said the architects were looking at John Warner and planning to design the building in a way that complements the college. The primary school will be built to accommodate 600 to 800 students. The design is still in its infancy and the inauguration is in about a year. The school is expected to open in 2024.
No location has yet been decided for the second elementary school, which will be part of the second $40 million rollout in two years.
Triennial facility audits will wrap up in June, allowing the district to take a closer look at the condition of its buildings. The district is also working on a long-term settlement plan that will be completed in late fall.
These two elements will serve as a guide for allocating funds for the renovations and determining the location of the other primary school according to the attendance zones.