Columbia School Board approves Douglass High School relocation

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education approved a lease proposal with Cornerstone Insurance for Douglass High School's temporary location Monday evening.

Linda Quinley, board member and chief financial and operations officer, said the one-year relocation will last for the 2016-17 school year and take around 12 to 18 months while Douglass receives "wide-spread" renovations. Quinley said CPS is spending more than $6 million on the improvements. She said the renovations will include water, electric, roof and security upgrades.

Quinley said the board is continuing to negotiate with Cornerstone Insurance to lease the bottom portion of their building during the construction period. She said the expected annual cost of the lease and relocation expense is somewhere between $240,000 to $250,000, costing CPS a little more than $17,000 a month.

Cornerstone Insurance is located at 3100 Falling Leaf Lane in Columbia, which is where William Woods' Columbia campus is located.

"We want to have a good, safe learning environment to take our Douglass students to while we renovate," Quinley said.

Currently, students that live in the area of a neighborhood school such as Rock Bridge, Hickman, or Battle, can take their regular bus to school, and are then shuttled to Douglass everyday.

Quinley said this system will continue at the new location, and so far the shuttle budget is "adequate" going forward. She said the board added a $10,000 cushion to the current budget in case there are unexpected costs.