WILLARD — The unique intermediate faculty in Willard was constructed for a most of 600 college students. It has now surpassed seven hundred.
Principal Tom Davis stated enrollment is predicted to develop once more, by as a lot as 50 or 60 college students, within the fall.
“We’re busting on the seams,” he stated. “We’re already one hundred over what we think about to be capability.”
Willard school officials started talking about the need for a second intermediate school, in the south part of the district, seven years ago.
They gathered Tuesday to break ground at Miller Avenue and Mt. Vernon Street, which is located in west Springfield but part of the Willard school district. The work will start this week.
In recent years, the district secured voter support for back-to-back bond issues to buy the land at the intersection of Miller Avenue and Mt. Vernon Street and build the 70,000-square-foot building. The bond issue approved in 2017, specifically for the school, was for $19.5 million.
“We have been feeling the need for a while,” Davis said. “Sometimes you have to wait until the money and the support is there.”
Assistant Superintendent Derrick Hutsell said a significant amount of work was complete before the groundbreaking.
“It’s very fulfilling to be at this point,” he said.
Hutsell said the new intermediate school will open in fall 2019 with enough space to serve 350 to 400 students in grades 5-6. It will also absorb students from overcrowded schools in the area.
He described the school design from Paragon Architecture — with input from students, teachers and community members — as an “open floor” plan with classroom pods and ample room for collaboration.
The layout of the new intermediate school will allow the district to expand the building in the future, if needed. New houses are being constructed in a subdivision just west of the construction site.
“There is a tremendous amount of growth in this side of the district,” he said.
The district is also working with the city of Springfield to widen Miller Avenue to three…