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New southwest Columbia elementary school looks at 2026 opening, will hold 650 students


At a Wednesday afternoon meeting, Columbia Public Schools officials said its new elementary school in southwest Columbia is expected to hold 650 students.

Officials are expecting construction to be completed by early 2026 and for it to open the following fall. The construction is expected to cost about $44 million.

A Columbia School Board member said building a new school is exciting--because it means the community is growing.

“I mean I think we’re seeing a lot of growth in the south side of town, and so that’s a part of what it is,” Board member Blake Willoughby said. “Us building in that location to really alleviate where we’re seeing that population growth. It’s a really exciting time for our community. We’re growing. These are new things that we’re doing. I think one of the most important things for our community just to know is that if you have thoughts, if you have questions, reach out, ask them.”

The next meeting about the school will be Nov. 8.

Columbia voters overwhelmingly passed an $80 million bond issue in April 2022 to help fund two new elementary schools, renovations to the Columbia Area Career Center, an addition to Battle Elementary School and other capital improvements.

Architect Robyn O’Roark told ABC 17 News at an open house on Tuesday that the initial design is a two-story elementary school with common areas, and a gymnasium that can serve as a storm shelter. O'Roark said the district wanted the new elementary school on Sinclair Road because of the area's growth.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Ryan Shiner


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