(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph School District leaders met with community members Wednesday seeking input on proposed ideas aimed at reshaping the district over the next few decades.
"We’re gathering people here to talk about the future and what they would like to see in our facilities," Bryan Green long-term planning committee said. "We're reimagining what our facilities could be in our district."
The district said they’re at a crossroads deciding on how best to serve the city’s educational needs. Many of the buildings that make up the district are aging, some are over 100 years old. District leaders said now is the time to start having real discussions over how well these buildings will serve students in the 21st century.
People from the community met at EmpowerU to be part of that discussion.
"We have to reimagine what configurations would be more efficient with funds," Green said.
Many of the plans involved included major changes to the district including the consolidation, closure, or repurposing of current buildings. District officials say factors such as a declining population in the city, as well as pressure to keep expenses in check, led them to make proposed plans on how to restructure.
"The community for a long time has wanted the school district to be more efficient with its tax funds," Green said. "We have to look at our facilities, cause they are a large piece of the budget."
District Leaders said the goal is to use feedback to better shape these plans and come up with a solution that best serves the district for years to come
"It’s not just ours," Gabe Edgar, asst. superintendent of operations and business said. "It’s everybody in the community."