The Chillicothe R-2 School District plans to raze the Central School building at 321 Elm Street this summer; however, the future of the Garrison School building, 209 Henry, which was also slated for demolition, is now undecided since there has been outside interest in purchasing the building.
The Chillicothe R-2 School District plans to raze the Central School building at 321 Elm Street this summer; however, the future of the Garrison School building, 209 Henry, which was also slated for demolition, is now undecided since there has been outside interest in purchasing the building. Both school buildings were slated to be torn down once the new elementary school building – which will house preschool, kindergarten and first grades – is completed for this fall. The district is exploring options for the soon to be vacant land on which Central School now stands. North Missouri Center for Youth and Families has requested that the playground remain in place because NMCYF participants utilize the playground. The district plans to talk with the city of Chillicothe to see if there is interest in converting the lot into a city park once the building is removed. There has also been discussion, but no decision, regarding the future of the historic Central School bell. The district’s initial plan was to raze the Garrison School building once it no longer needed the facility, according to Dr. Roger Barnes, superintendent of schools. However, Barnes stated, the district has been approached by more than one non-profit organization expressing interest in purchasing the building. If the school board would decide to sell the property, the district would likely declare it as surplus and then offer it for sale in a competitive bidding process, the superintendent stated. If the building is sold, Barnes said, it would be noted in the deed that the building would need to be maintained in good order so that it does not become an eyesore in the community. Garrison School was built in the 1940s and Central School during the 1950s. With the elimination of Garrison and Central schools and the completion of the new elementary school, several grades within the district will be shifted to other locations. Initial plans put grades two and three into the mix; however, after conducting further research into the initial plan, the school board was in general concensus to leave grades two and three alone and keep them at Field School. Here’s a look at where the elementary grades will be, starting in fall 2018: Preschool, kindergarten and first grades will move to the new Chillicothe Elementary School. Second and third grades will remain at Field School. Fourth and fifth grades will relocate to Dewey Elementary School. (The Dewey Elementary School name will remain the same). The original thought was that the older students would need bigger facilities that only Field School could provide; however, when district officials began comparing the buildings they found that there wasn’t much difference to justify making the Field School classes move. In fact, Barnes stated, the hallways of Central School and Dewey School were the same width, and Dewey School’s classrooms were even larger than Central School’s classrooms. Barnes stated that the building administrators gave their support to the revised plan for shifting the classes as did the school board.