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Wednesday ribbon-cutting set for .2 million school addition project in fast-growing Columbia

Wednesday ribbon-cutting set for $6.2 million school addition project in fast-growing Columbia

The voter-approved $6.2 million addition/renovation at Columbia’s Rock Bridge elementary school has been completed (August 2022 photo courtesy of CPS’ Michelle Baumstark)

You’re invited to attend this (Wednesday) afternoon’s dedication of the $6.2 million Rock Bridge elementary school building addition in Columbia.

The ceremony and ribbon cutting will begin at 4:30 at the school on South Highway 163.

Seven traditional classrooms were added during the project, and two classrooms were renovated. Columbia Public Schools (CPS) Superintendent Dr. Brian Yearwood tells 939 the Eagle that CPS’ enrollment has been exploding.

“So this addition will allow us to comfortably seat several hundred of our scholars in an environment that will not be crowded and will allow the learning environment to be just that. One in which they are more about their learning and not about where am I going to sit or do I have enough materials or what’s happening here,” Dr. Yearwood says.

CPS, which is now Missouri’s fifth-largest school district, recorded its highest first-day enrollment count ever last week. CPS’ Michelle Baumstark says there’s at least an increase of 669 students compared to last year’s enrollment, which was about 18,500. CPS’ current enrollment is now 19,196. The district’s enrollment has skyrocketed by about 2,000 in the last 11 years.

The Rock Bridge elementary addition involves more than 16,000 square feet, and a music classroom has also been added. It also includes kitchen and restroom renovations and the addition of a multipurpose PE and music room.

CPS voters approved the project as part of a 2018 districtwide bond issue. Superintendent Dr. Yearwood says CPS has fulfilled a promise to voters.

“We said through our bonds this is what’s going to happen and guess what, it’s here. So the promise has been fulfilled and the community trusted us with voting to allow this to happen through our bonds, and we’re very grateful for that community support,” says Yearwood.

Today’s ceremony starts at 4:30 with a ribbon-cutting with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce ambassadors.

If you’re interested in touring the building today after the ribbon-cutting, you can RSVP by calling CPS at (573) 214-3960.