CPS will hold groundbreaking ceremony for new elementary school

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School Board and city officials will celebrate the groundbreaking of the new southwest elementary school on Monday. The new elementary school is located on the northwest corner of Scott Boulevard and Route KK. 

The school is projected to open in 2016. The land was purchased in 2013 for $2.8 million from the Sapp family. The 36-acre site will be able to house about 650 students. 

The site was one of 14 that were considered for construction. The school district made the decision based on availability of usage acreage, location in the southwest are of Columbia as well as the location of major roads. 

Michelle Baumstark, CPD Community Relations Director, said the school will help with overcrowding issues on the southwest side of town. 

"We have had significant growth on this side of town that we have had to make some adjustments over the last couple of years to deal with growth specifically at Mill Creek Elementary School and we hope that this new building will alleviate some of those overcrowding issues that we have had at our schools in south Columbia," Baumstark said. 

The structure and design of the building will be similar to Eliot Battle Elementary. The Columbia Public School District said its important for it to have similar master plans when its considering the construction of multiple schools. 

"If we know that we are going to have several buildings that will be built within a certain time span, it is cost efficient for us to use a master site plan or a master building plan and to make adjustments in order to fit elevation or site location," Baumstark said. 

The construction of the school will cost around $16 million which is well within the District's budget. The funds for the projects were acquired from a voter approved bond back in 2012. 

Residents are encouraged to attend the ceremony which starts as 4 p.m.