Communication Series Part 8
March 6, 2022
Part 8. Current Progress Towards the Plan
Dear Knob Noster Public Schools Families and Community:
The concept of delivering a new Knob Noster High School Innovation Campus commenced nearly six years ago. Since that time, the district has been working to find a path to accomplish this project. As shared in previous articles, the funding strategy in Knob Noster is unique. Unlike almost every other school district, we must take a different path to get our facilities projects across the finish line.
Pursuit of the Defense Communities Infrastructure Program grant is at the top of the list. In 2020, the district submitted a proposal for $25 million to support this project. While the district was selected as a finalist, we came up just short of receiving funding. Since that time, we have evaluated our approach and we are regrouping. Our current focus has shifted to securing state-level support which we can then include in our federal grant application to add to our value proposition. We feel this will greatly strengthen our application.
During the last two years, the district has secured endorsement for this project from the Knob Noster Board of Education, Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Josh Hawley, Representative Vicky Hartzler, and Governor Mike Parson. In his August 2018 letter to Senator Roy Blunt, Governor Parson, “Directed the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Transportation, and Economic Development to find existing funding and grants to support this project. In his June 2020 letter, Governor Parson restated his support, including the likelihood that a portion of Missouri’s Covid-19 recovery infrastructure funds may be directed to support this project.
The Knob Noster Board of Education finalized the purchase of a new site for the proposed Knob Noster High School Innovation Campus in February 2022. The site is contiguous to the current Knob Noster Public Schools Sports Complex, which was constructed in 2009. This purchase by the current Board of Education is a continuation of the efforts of past Boards to establish a school presence north of Highway 50. Selecting this site hinges, in part, on available land and utilities to support new residential development.
In the summer of 2021, the district submitted a Notice of Intent to apply for a State Emergency Management Agency (SMEA) Grant. A $4.5 million proposal was submitted. In October, the district was invited to submit an application for this grant, signaling that funds are available for this project. The district is moving forward with the application process, with anticipated funding for a groundbreaking in fall 2022. As listed in a prior article, a SEMA P361 Community Safe Room was a specific component of the campus project. This saferoom is proposed as a monolithic dome, which will serve as a collegiate style gymnasium. It will house two full courts and a host of additional services and amenities to meet student and community needs.
With this project, the Board has also directed evaluation of proposals for a new athletic stadium, multipurpose wrestling facility, multipurpose baseball facility, and youth sports fields. Collectively, this first phase addresses several ongoing needs that have been identified by parents and members of the community. In taking this approach, the board is committing to current known needs, while aligning the district for the future. This facility project is not unlike similar projects that have recently been completed in Sedalia and Warrensburg. The proposed first phase is aligned to occur through the use of grant funding and revenues on hand that have been accumulated through strong Impact Aid funding.
On behalf of the KNPS team and our 1900 students, thank you for your time in reviewing this communication series. As always, my door is open to you and our community if you would like more information. Knob Noster Public Schools – Our Mission Is Student Success!
Jerrod Wheeler, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Next Community Forum: Tuesday, March 22
Our Mission Is Student Success