Community leaders celebrate Middle School groundbreaking
Posted on 06/03/2015

More than 60 community members attended the groundbreaking for the Poplar Bluff Middle School on Tuesday, June 2, at the current Senior High campus.

Supporters in attendance included the Board of Education, R-I administration, the Greater Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce, state and city officials, business leaders, project managers, parents and a very special guest, student Sophie Starnes of O’Neal Elementary, who will be a fifth grader when the new Middle School opens for the 2016/17 school year.

“This milestone marks the culmination of more than three years of input from several dozen community leaders, school officials and professional planners to determine the best plan to improve the safety of students for generations to come and get ahead of growth projections,” R-I Superintendent Chris Hon stated.

The Middle School, to serve grades 4-6, will feature a 40,000-square-foot addition at the front of the campus, tying A, B and D buildings together to give the facilities a facelift and improve the safety of students by abandoning the open layout. In place of the outdated C building will be an enclosed playground to further enhance security.

Construction on the Middle School, one of two of the anchor projects of the buildings plan approved by voters last year, began as soon as school let out on May 15. Zoellner Construction is the contractor over the project. The Perryville-based company also landed the bid for the Junior High addition, the groundwork for which began in March.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the future high school, to be located at the 5th & 6th Grade Center on the 80-acre site that houses the Technical Career Center, is slated to take place at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 4, with refreshments being served in the cafeteria beginning at 8. The public is invited to attend. Due to construction already under way, the campus must be entered from the north end on County Road 437.

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