New additions to meet Poplar Bluff students, faculty - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Newly finished construction and a new superintendent for Poplar Bluff

New additions to meet Poplar Bluff students, faculty

The new Poplar Bluff High School. (Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS) The new Poplar Bluff High School. (Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS)

The September 1st deadline is nearing for when students in Poplar Bluff are supposed to return to school.

The big question: will construction be done in time?

When students and faculty start the first day, they will find almost $50 million worth of construction to the entire district.

  • High School: 134,000 square feet added, new science department, media center, commons area, band room, JROTC practice facility and athletic field.
  • Junior High School: 20,000 square feet added, a new FEMA safe room, nine new classrooms, plus restroom facilities and ADA accessibility.
  • Middle School: 50,000 square feet added, STEM classrooms, new media center, enclosed playground.
  • Elementary School: enclosed corridors connecting buildings at all four elementary schools.

"I think my whole class is excited, or should be excited, because we're going to be the first class to go all four years through there," Harrison Warren said.

Harrison is going to be a freshman starting his first day at the new poplar bluff high school on Sept. 1, 2016.

"It's going to be something that no one else has done so it's gonna be new," he said.

Scott Dill is the new Superintendent of Poplar Bluff Schools. He started on July 1.

He said the newly finished construction across the district represents more than a face lift for the buildings.

"This is a marquee facility, not only for Poplar Bluff, but for the region as well," Dill said.

"As someone coming into the district, at this point this facility represents to me an investment by this community in itself and in education. This shows me this community values the work that's being done in the school and they're willing to invest in us."

Dill said the new layout of the building will better service its community.

"All of those services that our students need and our parents need have now been centralized it makes us more efficient at our jobs, it helps us service the needs of our students, and patrons better and just makes our school a better place," he said.

John Scott is the President of the Poplar Bluff School Board.

"Dill has done a wonderful job, getting here and hitting the ground running, and taking the bull by the horns and getting and making sure everything is getting done," he said.

Scott said getting the new buildings are nice, but he said the plans don't stop there.

"We have to forge ahead, and we have to continue," Scott said. "And I've said it before, that a new building, and new classrooms, and a fancy new high school that's great, but we have really need to focus what happens in the classroom, with our teachers, and our students to make sure they can get the best possible education that they can get."

He said the almost $50 million project wouldn't be possible without taxpayers.

"It's not cheap, and they came together to vote for this levy increase, and they're seeing the fruits of that now, but it's not without sacrifice because people have to pay that every year," Scott said.

The money for the construction comes from a tax levy passage in 2014.

This is a break down of the money spent: 

  • High School: $31.6 Million
  • Middle School: $11.8 Million
  • Junior High School: $3.8 Million
  • Elementary Schools: $1.7 Million

School starts Sept. 1, 2016, leaders said students ranging from first to twelfth grade will see some kind of building improvements.

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