Williams Elementary School is heart of its neighborhood. Renovating and expanding the school is one of 39 high-priority projects recommended by a group of citizens from across Springfield who came together to study Springfield Public Schools’ facility needs.
“Our students and staff currently have to cope with a variety of issues, including plumbing issues and aging infrastructure,” said Jenn Webb, principal of Williams Elementary School. “We are excited about the possibility of renovating our school to address these issues.”
A renovation of Williams would feature classroom improvements campus wide and the addition of a storm-shelter gymnasium, providing space that enhances learning experiences, says Webb.
“A new gymnasium will also mean we no longer have to use our cafeteria for P.E. classes and special events, making meal service and event scheduling more efficient.”
The new facility, one of seven major projects funded by Proposition S, will include dedicated space for before- and after-school programming provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield. A portion of the construction costs of the school will be funded by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield.
A renovated Williams would also serve more students with the addition of five preschool classes in an early childhood mini-hub, providing free, all-day preschool for 100 eligible preschoolers in Northwest Springfield.
“Early childhood education helps students and their communities thrive,” says Mark Dixon, member of the Community Task Force on Facilities. “By an adding an early childhood mini-hub, up to 100 preschoolers will receive a free, quality preschool experience at Williams every day, helping them to be ready to learn when they start kindergarten.”
The total cost of a renovated Williams and expansion for early childhood classrooms is estimated at $17.97 million. Demolition on the existing building is expected to begin in August, with an opening date of August 2021.