East Elementary temporary classrooms

Construction crews work on placing accessible ramps on a temporary classroom building at East Elementary School in Ozark. The Ozark Board of Aldermen approved the school district’s application for a conditional use permit to place the building on the East campus at a meeting Aug. 6.

Students at an Ozark elementary school will take classes in a mobile building, but school officials stress it’s a temporary move to accommodate a rapid growth in enrollment.

The Ozark Board of Aldermen approved a conditional use permit on Aug. 6, allowing the Ozark School District to place a temporary modular building on the East Elementary School campus. The 30-by-60-foot structure will house classrooms.

Assistant Superintendent Curtis Chesick appeared before the Ozark Board of Aldermen to explain why the school district needs more classrooms at East Elementary.

“Ozark continues to be a very attractive place for people to move to, so we have increased our enrollment and we are trying to find a place to put all of our fifth grade students,” Chesick said.

Chesick said the school district is starting some long range planning to discuss what can be done on Ozark’s campuses to accommodate more students.

Chesick said school district officials appreciate that Ozark city staff worked to move the school’s request for a conditional use permit through the planning and zoning process at a rapid pace.

“We appreciate their help,” Chesick said. “They were just great partners in this. All cities and schools don’t work this close, and they just did a great job.”

Ozark Planning and Development Technician Christina Posey wrote a memo to the Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission explaining that the out building will be visible to drivers traveling on East Hartley Street. That visibility from the road meant that the school district would need a conditional use permit.

The building will be 200 feet from the nearest accessible restrooms.

“Due to the proximity of the restrooms, the building cannot be placed in a location behind the school that would not be visible (from East Hartley Street),” Posey wrote to the planning and zoning commission.

The placement east of the school building also helps a construction crew avoid building in a drainage area to the north of the building.

“Staff feels the proposed location is acceptable to accomodate the restroom requirements and to remain outside the drainage area and do not have any concerns with the location requested for placement of the structure,” Posey wrote.

The permit application states that the temporary classroom could be needed for five to six years, but Chesick compared the East Elementary project to the prior use of mobile buildings on the campus at North Elementary. He stressed that the plan is for the mobile classrooms to stand on the East Elementary campus for no more than three years.

“We’re hope this is a three-year, temporary use, as our previous ones were,” Chesick said.

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