Planning Group Tours New St. Joseph Elementary Schools

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 08/05 2014 05:07PM

Updated 08/06 2014 09:14AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) With the first day of school less than two weeks away, finishing touches are going in at two new schools in the St. Joseph School District.

"I'm so excited for our community, for our children and just blessed that they have this opportunity," said Dr. Fred Czerwonka, Superintendent of the St. Joseph School District.

On Tuesday, the group that helped develop the idea of new schools got a tour of the nearly finished product.
PACT, which stands for Planning a Course Together, consists of community members that have given recommendations for the new schools since June of 2011.

"I'm in a lot of schools, and I don't think I've seen two buildings this impressive," said Don Crabtree, a former teacher and member of PACT.

Carden Park and Oak Grove Elementary are the first schools to be built by the district in more than 40 years.
Both are state of the art.

"It is very top of the line, from top to bottom, east to west, you see so much technology and so much information for our children to absorb, it's putting them far and above many school districts across the country," Czerwonka said.

Carden Park is a two story building with colorful walls, large windows and beautiful views of downtown. School officials say Oak Grove has more of a country charm. It's a single story with extra wide spaces.

Members of PACT say seeing their suggestions come to life is rewarding.

"It's an incredible feeling to see what was an idea move to paper, move to voters, and then today see it come to fruition," said Crabtree.

And something both principals say they're excited to show off.

"I want the community to come in and see what they voted for and what they approved and supported the St. Joseph School District with, because it's the finest I've ever been a part of," said Michael Otto, the principal of Oak Grove.

"It's just great to have this open, collaborative space," said Lacey Adams, the principal at Carden Park.

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