In an effort to provide additional detail and clarity for voters ahead of the April 2 election, Springfield Public Schools has secured an additional 1.68 acres for the construction of a new Boyd Elementary School in the Midtown neighborhood. This is in addition to the 1.41-acre former Berry School site, giving the district a total of 3.09 acres for the development of the future Boyd Elementary. This purchase will more than double the acreage of the current Boyd Elementary campus. The real estate transactions for ten parcels of land at the intersection of Division and Sherman are now under contract for a total of $430,000 and will be paid for with surplus funds from the 2013 bond issue.
Detailed plans will be developed for the layout of the campus and construction of the new facility. The new Boyd is estimated to cost $20.34 million, will serve 300 pre-K through fifth-grade students, and would open for the 2021-2022 school year. The building will feature better security, improved accessibility, a new storm shelter and preschool classrooms.
“The existing Boyd Elementary is more than 100 years old, is three stories on a small lot, and lacks accessibility for our students, staff and community,” said Bridget Dierks, co-chair of the task force. “The Community Task Force on Facilities felt very strongly that a new school was critical to meet the needs of our students, staff and community.”
“While planning for a new building that has adequate playground space and parking, and that also includes room for preschool education, the task force recognized the need for a larger piece of land within the Midtown neighborhood,” said David Hall, task force co-chair.
“We are excited by the prospect of a new school for our neighborhood,” said Cheryl Clay, task force member. “In the current facility, the only bathrooms are in the basement, meaning staff and students must travel up and down three flights of stairs to use the facilities during the day. The basement also poses frequent challenges with flooding. This school has outlived its function for a positive learning environment. During the task force meetings, I suggested the site of the former Berry School or the property across the street for a new Boyd Elementary School. It was important that the school remain not only in the Midtown neighborhood, but be a facility that would inspire pride in the students attending. I am thrilled with the commitment of SPS in providing a new school for the Midtown neighborhood.”
“The Board of Education knew it was important to the Midtown neighborhood to have as many answers as possible ahead of the April 2 election,” said Jill Patterson, president of Springfield Public Schools Board of Education. “We were committed to locating the property to accommodate a new Boyd and immediately began negotiations with property owners near our former Berry School location, less than half a mile from the current Boyd location. We are very pleased with this outcome.”
About Proposition S
On April 2, voters will decide on Proposition S, a proposal to fund 39 high-priority projects recommended by a task force of parents, students, teachers and other community members. The project list includes secure entrances for 31 schools, a new early childhood education center, renovation of Williams and Sunshine elementary schools, renovation of Hillcrest High School, construction of a new Boyd and Delaware Elementary, and a new Jarrett Middle School.
To learn more details about each project featured as part of Proposition S, including a new Boyd Elementary School, visit sps.org/PropS.