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Tiger Paw Project Receives 2022 Design Team of the Year Award


Ozark School District’s Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center received the 2022 Design Team of the Year award from the Springfield Contractors Association during the 38th annual Salute to Design and Construction Awards banquet on Nov. 10. 


SCA President Mark Gambon said the award was created to allow contractors to show appreciation and recognize local designers. Teams are judged on creativity, uniqueness and complexity of design, as well as how the team worked together, community involvement and traffic, infrastructure and environmental impacts.


“This project is an excellent example of the teamwork between a design team, owner and contractor on a large-scale renovation project,” Gambon said about Tiger Paw. “Congratulations to Esterly, Schneider & Associates, JS Smith Consulting Engineers, Anderson Engineering, Smith-Goth Engineers, Andrea Nesbitt Designs, Ozark Public Schools, and Dewitt & Associates for your outstanding teamwork.”


The original building, located just east of the Ozark downtown square, was built in 1922 for $50,000. Ozark voters approved a bond for the renovation in June 2020 and the building opened to students for the 2022-23 school year. On Sept. 15, 2022, 100 years after the building was constructed, Ozark School District cut the official ribbon, celebrating the renovation of the historic structure and expansion of the early childhood program. 


Ozark Assistant Superintendent of Operations Dr. Curtis Chesick said the architects, Esterly, Schneider & Associates, were able to take a building that many thought was not worth saving and turn it into something Ozark will cherish for years to come. 


“One of the goals we had as a District was to make the interior a 21-century learning center while keeping the exterior very similar to what it looked like in 1922,” he said. “Esterly, Schneider & Associates as well as DeWitt have been great partners, even after the project is over. The partnership that began sitting in a room designing what this space would look like has continued well after construction into ‘how are we going to operate this to best suit Ozark students.’”


Ozark Superintendent Dr. Chris Bauman said the project gave the District an opportunity to not only preserve a century-old building, but to expand learning to Ozark’s youngest students.  


“I could not be more proud to be a part of this project and see the great part that this is going to contribute to the future of Ozark through our children, our community and education,” he said. 


Tiger Paw Project Receives 2022 Design Team of the Year Award


Tiger Paw Project Receives 2022 Design Team of the Year Award