The Wentzville School District has been the fastest growing school district in the state since 2001, so the process of building new schools is not a stranger to district employees. However, this year’s abundance of rain has made it difficult to keep on top of a schedule. The district hopes to have the new elementary school open in the fall of 2020, while the new high school should open by fall of 2021.
Construction on the high school began before the elementary, but due to it being a bigger building, it will take closer to three years to complete compared to the year and a half planned for the elementary school. The high school is located off W. Meyer Road and North Point Prairie, and the elementary school is located on Interstate Drive.
A boundary committee is currently working on reworking the school boundaries to include the new schools, and no names have been decided for either of the new buildings.
Both schools, along with additions at Peine Ridge, Barfield, Pearce Hall, and a new gym at Holt highschool, are funded by a no-tax bond that passed in Wentzville in 2018 for $125 million. The overall construction costs will come to $129 million, with the school planning to use four million from regular budgeting.
As of now, the only project completed is the addition at Peine Ridge.
Wentzville currently has three high schools (they are building the fourth), three middle schools that host only seventh and eighth graders, and twelve elementary schools (they are constructing the thirteenth).
“One of the things we have saved money on over the years is we use the same prototype building for our elementary schools, and we certainly have continued to do that,” said Mary LaPak, Chief Communications Officer of the Wentzville School District. “That doesn’t mean that after each one we don’t go back and talk to the principals and say ‘hey what’s working great in the building what isn’t working’ so we can make tweaks. So there are definitely tweaks made but it’s the same general prototype that we use each time and that has saved us money.”
LaPak shared that Wentzville has hired a demographer who after a study predicts continued growth for at least the next 10 years.
“There’s a lot to be said about our community. The housing is affordable and the schools are good so it certainly draws people to our area,” LaPak said, “We are not only proud that we’ve been able to accommodate for the growth but that our student achievement has gone up every year as well.”