The Ozark R-6 School District plans to convert a manufacturing plant it purchased last year into a second high school.
SBJ file photo
The Ozark R-6 School District plans to convert a manufacturing plant it purchased last year into a second high school.

$26M bond issue for Ozark schools hits ballot

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The Ozark R-6 School District is asking residents to approve a $26.5 million bond issue for a long-range plan set in motion last year.

Slated to appear on the ballot during the April 7 general election, the bond issuance would allow the district to renovate its innovation center into a second high school and expand the Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center. The bonds are not expected to change the district’s current tax levy of 88 cents per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property, according to a news release.

“In partnering with the community, the district has developed a plan that will realign our grades and buildings in a more efficient manner, address the space requirements of our growing community and offer new and unique educational opportunities that are not available anywhere else in the area — all without increasing taxes,” said Jeff Laney, president of the district’s board of education, in the release.

The school district last year purchased a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing plant for its new innovation center that provides career and technical education center for high school students. The district paid $4.1 million for the building that’s been home to Fasco, Simclar Interconnect Technologies Inc. and Concurrent Manufacturing Solutions LLC.

Located less than a mile from Ozark High School, the 1600 W. Jackson St. innovation center is slated to be renovated into a second high school campus, should voters give the green light to the bond issuance, according to the release.

School officials last year also announced the relocation of district offices to the Fasco building from the Tiger Paw property. The relocation allows the expansion of the early childhood center.

The district expects to complete the innovation center, district office and early childhood projects by August 2022, pending the results of the April election, according to the release.

The projects are part of Phase I of the district’s long-range plan with an overall price tag exceeding $57 million, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

District spokeswoman Amelia Wigton said current enrollment comprises 5,787 students. Ninth-grade students will move back to high school with the changes, she added, noting they’re currently in junior high.

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