Ozark School District Purchases Facility as Part of Long Range Plan
SLS Audio Products – Dolby Laboratories now has a new neighbor as Ozark School District closed on the purchase of the commercial property known as the Fasco building located at 1600 W. Jackson St. in Ozark on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
"Purchasing the former Fasco building goes right in line with our Long Range Plan,” School Board President Jeff Laney said. “Not only does it allow our District to provide unique and practical educational opportunities to our students that are not offered anywhere else in the area, but we are also able to ensure future-readiness while preserving facilities that have been so important to our community's past."
The $4.1 million purchase is part of Phase One of the District’s Long Range Plan, which the Board of Education approved in March, and will serve as an extension of the main Ozark High School campus and a new location of District Office.
“Purchasing an existing facility is the most responsible use of taxpayer money and we are fortunate to have a facility available that meets the needs of our growing District,” said Ozark Superintendent Chris Bauman.
Appropriately called Operation Renovate & Innovate, Phase One of the Long Range Plan, at an estimated total cost of $25.5 million, calls for the District to purchase an existing commercial facility to remodel for a high school innovation center; remodel and add a storm shelter to Ozark Middle School; and remodel District Office to expand Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center. A bond issue will be necessary to complete the projects, which could appear on the ballot for voters as early as April, 2020.
Grades will then shift with the four elementary buildings becoming kindergarten through fourth grade; 5-6 grades at OMS; 7-8 grades at OJH and ninth-grade students returning to the high school.
“This facility provides the best opportunity to move forward with our Long Range Plan,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Curtis Chesick. “We looked at multiple locations throughout Ozark and this facility will sustain our District Office and a portion of our high school well into the future.”
With the 170,000-square-foot facility secured, the District is busy planning how to best utilize the space by shifting select programs out of the existing high school facility and adding high-demand programs. Meetings to create the vision of this facility started in April and will resume once school begins to include feedback from the Ozark community and District staff.
“Our next step is to secure an architecture firm to finalize the layout of the facility,” Chesick said. “We plan to move our District Office operations to the new facility late fall in order to continue expanding Tiger Paw into the existing District Office, which began this summer.”
Ozark School District is honoring existing leases on the purchased property and will work with tenants and the City of Ozark to keep these valuable community partners local. The purchase does not include the SLS Audio – Dolby facility at 1650 W. Jackson St., which is a separate facility next to the Fasco building.
“On behalf of the School Board, I want to thank the community who participated in our long range planning process last year and for those who will provide input in the future,” Laney said. “I am excited to see how this will positively shape the District in years to come.”