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North Platte Breaks Ground on New Junior High School

Students in Dearborn, Missouri will have a new junior high school next fall.

Posted: Dec 2, 2017 4:24 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2017 1:29 PM

(DEARBORN, Mo.) Students in Dearborn, Missouri will have a new junior high school next fall.

Administrators, teachers and students all gathered at the newly leveled construction zone Friday December 1, for the ceremonious groundbreaking of the new junior high school.

“We’re pretty excited.It's a historic day for us. We are getting ready to do a junior high addition of about 21,000 square feet of new construction,” North Platte Superintendent Karl Matt said.

The North Platte Board of Education approved a $5.4 million bid from Universal Construction out of Lenexa,Kansas, during their November 15 meeting. The contracted work will include the construction of a new junior high school at 212 W. 6th Street, Dearborn,Missouri; roof repair at North Platte High School; and foundation repair at the North Platte Elementary school.

The old junior high school was the original Dearborn High School. Built in 1930, the original high school building had several renovations in 1955,1963 and 1985, but was ultimately demolished in July to make room for the new school.

“The previous school was built in 1930; it had a lot of great memories in that building and it was an important part of the community. But now we think this new building will give a great place for our students to go to school and have great memories for them as well,” Matt said.

After the demolition of the former junior high school, the younger students have moved into high school classrooms and a mobile classroom.North Platte student will remain in the substitute rooms until the construction is complete.

“It is pretty tight right now, so it will be nice to have the new building ready to go for the start of next year,” Matt said.

The construction will be predominantly funded through a community supported tax initiative. North Platte voters passed a $6.2 million no tax increase bond during the April 4, election. The bonds will be used on community capital improvement projects with the construction of a new school being the city’s first priority.

“We had a strong community support for this. I think as a community as a large, we are pretty excited to see this begin,” Matt said.

The projects are estimated to cost the district approximately $6.65 million. The current tax rate will generate approximately $6.2million over the next 12 years. The remaining
$500,000 will be funded by the Missouri Division of Energy in the form of a grant.

“We’ve got an HVAC [Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning] program that the school district is getting a grant for that is an energy efficient HVAC system,” John Shortall,Universal Construction Company Foreman said.

The energy efficient building will be home to students in sixth through eighth grade and include four new core classrooms, a therapy room and two labs.

“We’ve got some great new additional classroom and science classroom areas. It’s going to be state of the art, no doubt,” Shortall said.

The school will provide students with new classrooms and additional space for extra curricular programs.

“We have a very large and successful music program here and we’ve had to share space for our band and choir. This will allow them to each have separate rooms and give each program the space and importance that they both deserve,” Matt said.

Construction for the new facility will begin within the next two weeks. All projects are expected to be completed in time to open for the 2018-2019 school year.

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It was a snowy and cold day across the area with 2-6 inches of snow found across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Temperatures will fall into the teens and single digits overnight. Be very careful on the roads Sunday morning, slushy and wet roads will refreeze with the cold temperatures overnight. Sunshine returns on Sunday with temperatures staying right around average in the mid 30s. Dry conditions look to continue into next week. Temperatures will warm through Tuesday with highs back in the 40s before a cold front moves through mid week dropping temperatures back into the teens and 20s.
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