• Grain Valley schools continue to grow

  • When Grain Valley High School was built, the maxiumum number of students it could comfortably accommodate was 750.

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  • When Grain Valley High School was built, the maxiumum number of students it could comfortably accommodate was 750.
    This year, there are more than 900 students in the halls with an anticipated 1,200 in the next several years.
    “We are close to 1,000 now,” Superintendent Roy Moss said during Tuesday’s Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “It is getting crowded.”
    The Grain Valley School District sponsored this month’s luncheon, which was held at Grain Valley North Middle School. In addition to Moss’ State of the Schools address, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District Fire Chief Steve Westermann gave a short presentation on a proposed tax levy increase on the Aug. 6 ballot.
    Moss said the school district’s enrollment continues to increase. In 2003, there were 2,164 students in Grain Valley. This year, that number is close to the 4,000 mark with 3,847. It is projected that by 2020, Grain Valley will have almost 5,000. In comparison, Grain Valley’s neighbor to the north, Fort Osage, has 4,931 students.
    “As our enrollment continues to grow, so does our student achievement,” Moss said. “The board has had a challenge, but we are very fortunate that the community has been so supportive.”
    The latest in the line of bond issues came in February when voters approved a $4.6 milllion in upgrades. The bond issue will fund the first phase of the high school’s master plan. This includes a five-classroom addition on the southeast corner of the current building that will provide adequate space for science courses. There will also be an additional set of student restrooms and collaborative learning spaces for students and staff. The new classrooms will be larger than those for regular courses, geared more for courses that need extra space, such as science, art, engineering and family and consumer sciences. The new classrooms are expected to be complete in time for the 2013-14 school year, which begins in August.
    Other projects funded through the bond issue include rerouting the road around the new addition and installing a traffic signal at the entrance of Grain Valley High School along Eagles Parkway. If funding allows, the district has plans for other projects, including road access east to Garden Street from the high school, which would cross a piece of property the school district already owns. A greenhouse is also planned, as well as a new concession and restroom facility, improved waste management system, an expanded pedestrian plaza and a new ticket booth/stadium entry at the football and soccer stadium.
    “This (expansion of the high school) will happen for many years to come,” Moss said. “Our long-range plans include significant additions to the high school, increasing student access to technology and supporting students who struggle with learning.”

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