Class sizes at North Callaway High have increased steadily for years.
"We've got a whole class more than we had seven years ago," said Vice Principal Mike Spirz, "because the freshman class is 150+ students."
Missouri's course requirements for graduation have also changed, making it harder for the school to accommodate all the classes students now need.
"Kids are limited in the classes that they can take, the classes we can offer," said school board President Kevin Zuroweste, "just because we don't have the space to have them."
The school has hired another teacher for next semester, and added a new, mobile classroom. But, that's still not enough.
"One of our English classes is right next to the band room in the morning," said Zuroweste. "So, you've got a junior English class trying to have class next to the band playing."
A large addition seems to be the only permanent solution.
"Right now, the options are, of course, building a new structure," said Superintendent Roy Moss. "And the board is looking at several different ideas."
Various designs connect the high school and junior high with corridors and realign 7th, 8th and 9th grades to the junior high addition. The addition would also allow both buildings to share facilities like the kitchen. The proposed addition would expand where mobile classrooms now offer temporary relief to the school.
"What we're planning would take all the money we can get from our bonding capacity," Zuroweste said.
Using all $7 million available leaves little room for other improvements in the district.
"The possibility of adding air conditioning to all the other buildings in the district, that's a high priority," Zuroweste added.
The school board has asked the architect to lower costs as much as possible, so there's enough for other projects.
"By Jan. 24, we have to come to some decision," explained Zuroweste. "We have to file with the county clerk our thoughts if we are going to put a bond issue on the April ballot."
The school board has already cut costs for the addition. The architect's original plans had an $8.9 million pricetag.