Nixa Early Childhood Center

The Nixa Early Childhood Center now falls under the ownership of Nixa Public Schools.

Nixa Public Schools announced that it has reached an agreement to transfer the ownership of the Early Childhood Center from Nixa ECDC, a limited liability company, to the school district after a five-year partnership between the district and the developer.

Nixa Public Schools created a partnership fin 2014 order to design a building that was specific to the needs of early childhood students and also would allow the district to house programs at the building for those with special education needs.

“The past five years has been a time where we have grown to over 140 students that utilize this building, and we have been able to provide specialized programs for both regular education students and students with special education needs so they are fully prepared for the K-12 education that is on the horizon for them,” Dr. Lara Wilbur, principal of the ECC said.

Curtis Jared, the developer of the ECC, worked with Nixa’s elementary education and special education staff throughout the design and construction process so the building would meet the specific needs of the students who would attend the ECC.

“Use of this facility has allowed Nixa to expand our preschool programs to include integrated role models and reach more students across the Nixa district,” Karen McKnight, Nixa Public Schools director of special services said. “Our educators with specialized programs have space of their own for therapies. We are looking forward to the continued use of the ECC and the ongoing ability to offer high-quality programs for preschool students in our community.” 

In addition to the specialty-designed facility for early childhood students, the building’s multipurpose room is rated for the safety and protection of students during severe weather and tornadoes.

After a five-year agreement that was approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the school district finalized a one-year lease extension with Jared. In June 2020, the district will purchase the building for $900,000. The building is valued at approximately $8.5 million. Jared sold the building at a below-appraisal discount as a donation to Nixa Public Schools.

“When Nixa embarked on this journey five years ago, we wanted to provide an amazing facility for our early childhood students. We have been able to do that and are excited to have this donation from Curtis Jared,” Nixa Superintendent Gearl Loden said.

The lease for the 2019-20 school year will be paid at the reimbursement rate from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which will be determined by DESE’s reimbursement formula based on student enrollment and other factors.

Dr. Loden gave credit to the developer, the past school board and to former superintendent Stephen Kleinsmith for helping reach the deal for the preschool building.

“The community is very lucky to have this facility. I am amazed at the vision that was put into place years ago by Dr. Kleinsmith and our school board. The partnership with Jared allowed our district to have an early childhood facility that is second to none,” Loden said. “This agreement allows the district to own a facility that will allow students to learn in for many years to come.”

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