The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 17, 2013

Neosho School District surveying residents about need for new school

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho School District is asking residents in a new survey whether a proposed junior high school is needed.

The outcome of the survey, which runs through early next week, could spur the Board of Education to place a bond issue for construction of the school on the April ballot, Superintendent Dan Decker said.

“We’re waiting on the results of that to determine how far we move ahead,” he said.

Decker said administrators have known “for quite a while” that additional classroom space is needed in the district. A survey conducted last spring suggested that a seventh- and eighth-grade junior high school building would have the most support from residents, according to officials.

Eighth-graders are now in the high school building. Fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders are in the middle school, which was designed to hold only the fifth and sixth grades, Decker said. He said both schools have classrooms in trailers, but are still crowded.

He said a school built specifically for seventh- and eighth-graders would not only alleviate overcrowding at the middle and high schools, but it would also provide the district room for future growth.

In addition to gauging community support for a junior high school, the survey also asks participants their preference among four potential locations for a new school, Decker said. Previously announced locations include what is known locally as the Taylor property on Missouri Highway 86; property near the existing Neosho Middle School; property near Carver Elementary School; and land on Missouri Highway 86 near Hammer Road.

Administrators have previously said building a new school could cost $15 million to $18 million.

Timeline

Neosho Superintendent Dan Decker said the Board of Education is expected to decide at its January meeting whether to place a bond issue for new school construction on the April 8 ballot.

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