Hallsville schools feeling the strain of population growth

5 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, April 03 2018 Apr 3, 2018 Tuesday, April 03, 2018 11:19:00 AM CDT April 03, 2018 in News
By: Monica Dunn, Ellie Cherryhomes, Sam Mosher and Ethan Stein, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

HALLSVILLE – Hallsville, Missouri, is only about 15 miles outside of Columbia.  It’s small --  only one traffic light, about a square mile of land and a population of about 1,500 as of the last census.

But the town is growing. Mayor Mickey Nichols said the population is expected to be 2,000 in just two years. This quick growth has put a strain on the town’s schools.

As many mid-Missouri communities grow, the school districts are unable to keep up. These schools are experiencing overcrowding, and some districts cannot secure enough funding to expand them.

“The theory was always that if you started to grow you would have new houses and new businesses, and somehow magically the tax base would keep up with your needs,” said MU assistant education professor Chris Belcher. “But in really rapidly growing schools, they get behind.”

Hallsville schools are currently at 111 percent capacity, according to Hallsville School District director of communications Marci Minor. They need to build a new middle school but cannot take out enough bonds.

Tonya Schleeter is a Hallsville parent and school alumna who has seen the district’s growth firsthand. The average class size has almost tripled since she attended more than 20 years ago. She said the schools are using every scrap of space.

“There is one classroom that's actually got changed from a maintenance closet into a classroom this year,” she said.

A chief problem in the district is the primary school’s size. The cafeteria, gymnasium and an auditorium all share a space, leading parents to call it the “cafe-gym-torium.”

Schleeter said the lack of space has affected her son’s extracurricular activities.

“I think it makes it more difficult on the coaches and the things for scheduling,” she said. “He was in third grade, and he was having practices at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night because that's the time when the gym was available.” 

Events held at the gym are typically packed too, Schleeter said.

“You better get there an hour, hour-and-a-half prior to the event to be able to get a seat in the current auditorium,” she said.

Nichols said the school district needs more space in order to provide a quality education.

“You have to have a good school system, or people are not going to want to come to the area,” he said.

The district is proposing a $7 million bond to address the overcrowding of Hallsville’s intermediate elementary school and to construct a gymnasium, Minor said.

The bond issue would address the lack of classroom space by adding eight second-grade classrooms to Hallsville Primary School. The funding would allow the district to move its second-grade students from the intermediate school to the primary school.

The new gym would be designed to serve as a space for physical education classes and community events and work as a storm shelter.

The district’s bond issue also includes a 1.42 acres real estate purchase and possible additions to the kindergarten and first-grade hallways.

The bond must get a supermajority of 57.14 percent to pass, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“The community gets to decide what they want, and taxpayers’ money is used to produce that for many schools around the area,” Belcher said.

Minor said the bond issue will improve Hallsville residents’ quality of life.

“Our community needs to understand we’re growing,” Minor said. “But people are moving here because they want to go to school here.”

The no-tax-increase bond will be voted on Tuesday.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A woman has been arrested on suspicion of abuse or neglect of a 4-year-old child. Police arrested... More >>
3 minutes ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:11:00 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A more than 25-year-old park shelter and playground could say goodbye soon. The replacement of those two... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, September 18 2018 Sep 18, 2018 Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT September 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council approved the 2019 fiscal year budget Monday for $32,807,390.05. Mayor Carrie Tergin... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:13:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department arrested five people Monday for stealing from a Hibbett Sports store in Fulton. ... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 9:49:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump is ordering the declassification of various documents and text messages that both the House Intelligence... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:46:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:40:19 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Task Force One continues its work with victims of Hurricane Florence this week. The task force... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Supporters of the "Clean Missouri" initiative endorsed Amendment 1 after a judge ordered removal to take it off... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Kansas City Police Department has rescinded commendations given to two officers involved in the fatal... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:05:10 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is testing new lights downtown this week to try and curb violence and crime. The new... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Macon County deputy who shot a man during an incident in August is back at work. ... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators want a review of sexual misconduct allegations made against President Donald Trump's Supreme... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A 9-year-old boy whose bus driver saved him from choking says he now knows why candy isn't... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:38:54 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two groups protested outside the Missouri Department of Corrections Monday morning with hopes of ending the 127... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved the new city budget Monday night. This was the final hearing for... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says cities and counties skipped out on an extra $698,000 in fees... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:05:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are looking for a suspect in the shooting of a Jefferson City man. Around 6:01... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday night, the MU Police Department arrested a man suspected of exposing himself at Ellis library. ... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:35:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 83°
11am 85°
12pm 88°
1pm 90°
2pm 90°