Ozark School District purchases facility as part of long-range plan

The 170,000 square-foot Fasco building will soon be home to Ozark High School students and district office staff.  

Voters in the Ozark School District will see a question for a $26.5 million bond issue in April 2020.

The bond issue has no tax levy increase attached to it, and school administrators say the additional bonding would generate funds needed to renovate the Ozark Innovation Center and expand the Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center. The Innovation Center part of Ozark High School and is located at 1600 West Jackson Street, which longtime Ozark residents know as the former FASCO plant.

The Ozark Board of Education voted Jan. 9 to take the issue to voters.

“I’d like to thank our board, staff and community for partnering with us to create a plan that’s best for Ozark students,” Superintendent Chris Bauman said. “I am excited for the positive impact these projects will have on all our students, from our earliest learners to our high school graduates preparing for their future.”

The Ozark Board of Education and the administration have been working on the first phase of the district's long range plan —  Operation Renovate and Innovate — since it was approved in March 2019. The Ozark School District bought part of the old FASCO plant in July 2019, at a cost of about $4.1 million.

“The decision to place a bond on the April ballot comes after more than a year of planning,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Curtis Chesick. “This plan provides the best opportunity to accommodate the growth across the district while enhancing and expanding our programs.” 

Operation Renovate and Innovate includes converting the Ozark Innovation Center to become a second high school campus, and renovating the district office in order to expand Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center. 

The estimated completion date is August, 2022. Grades will shift for the 2022-23 school year with the four elementary buildings becoming kindergarten through fourth grade; fifth and sixth grades at Ozark Middle School; seventh and eighth grades at Ozark Junior High; and ninth grade moving to the high school.

“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,” Ozark Board of Education President Jeff Laney said. “This has very much been a group effort between the District and the community, and we are excited to present these plans to the voters in April."

Ozark School District April 2020 bond issue ballot language

Shall Ozark R-VI School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $26,500,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, repairing, renovating, furnishing and equipping school sites and facilities, including renovating the Ozark Innovation Center, remodeling and repurposing the District Office for early childhood learning and acquiring property currently leased by the District? 

If this question is approved, the District’s debt service property tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.88 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.

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