A newly remodeled Heritage Elementary School in Lake Ozark has passed inspection Wednesday.
A $22 million bond issue passed by voters last April allowed for the renovation at one of the oldest schools in the area. Students will start school there in a few weeks.
Fire Marshal Jim Doyle said, “My kids were the last ones in the school before it closed, then my kids will be the first kids in it, and I’ll actually have a kid to be the first one going all the way through from head start through 2nd grade.”
School officials and parents are very excited about the completed renovation.
Principal Veronica Smith said, “We are very ecstatic about this new building just because it’s preserving our heritage, for School of the Osage this was the original K through 12 building so we’re happy it was preserved.”
When Smith started teaching, she shared her knowledge and love for history, something that came in handy when helping make decisions about preserving this original 1933 building.
Well-kept archives and pictures will soon be displayed in these glass cases throughout the school. The facility now also has state of the art technology.
“We’re supposed to be completely wireless, so we’re excited about that, a lot of new technology. We already had smart boards but we’re implementing iPads in the classrooms, so we’re very excited about that,” said Smith.
The renovation and expansion project included making the fire and sprinkler systems up to code, replacing the old electricity, heating and air conditioning systems, and making it all ready for inspection.
“You’re looking for your fire systems, making sure your sprinkler systems, alarm systems, electrical systems, anything to protect the well-being of everyone in the building,” said Doyle.
24 additional classrooms, bathrooms, and a new playground were also added.
“We have everything packed up, boxed, and ready to move, we’re just waiting for completion,” said Smith.
School starts August 20 for students in the School of the Osage district. The old Mills Elementary will eventually be torn down and used as parking.