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Public input needed on Highway 126

The Missouri Department of Transportation is holding a meeting 5-7 p.m. April 1 at the Chadwick School.

MoDOT wants to get the public's opinion on ways to use federal funds to improve Highway 125 between highways

T and H near Chadwick in Christian County.

A section of Highway 125 will get a face lift within the next year, financed by $380,000 in federal funds. Although this is not enough to completely revamp the roadway, it is enough to make some needed improvements.

MoDOT Project Manager Linda Bokel said the idea under discussion is to use the $380,000 to resurface this four-mile section of highway, which will put about 2 inches of asphalt on the road.

"But before MoDOT makes a decision on how to use this funding, we want to hear from the people who drive this road every day," she said.

The federal funds must be used to improve highways in the Mark Twain National Forest.

Construction of new high school begins

Nixa School District officials and board members helped break ground March 9 for the new high school, set for completion in the summer of 2000.

Construction has already begun, according to Terry Reid, Nixa Schools superintendent.

The architect is Sapp Design Associates Architects PC, and the general contractor is DeWitt & Associates, both of Springfield.

The cost to build the new facility will be $14.3 million for the 225,000-square-foot multi-story facility. The new Nixa High School will be able to accommodate 1,100 to 1,200 students and 90 staff members, with enough expansion to hold up to 1,800 students.

Because construction bids came in under projection, the school district may go ahead with expansion plans now.

"The architect is doing cost figures for going ahead and adding a third floor now. If the cost is within our budget, we'll go ahead and do it now rather than three or four years later," Reid said.

The current Nixa High School for grades nine to 12 was built in the 1960s and has been added on to seven times, Reid said.

"It was originally built for 550 students but currently houses 850," Reid said.

The new school will be located on a 43-acre site in southwest Nixa on M Highway (Nicholas Road) near the existing Mathews Elementary School. Last August, Nixa voters overwhelmingly supported a bond issue to finance the high school, Reid said.

The school and community will share parts of the building at certain times.

The new school will have a large library available for the public use, a performance auditorium seating 670, a football stadium, track, tennis courts, soccer fields, practice fields and two gymnasiums the largest seating 3,100.

A commons area will seat 500 to 600 and will be used as a cafeteria during school hours, but after hours and on weekends it will be available for community groups and for events.

An indoor walking/running track will also be available for public use before and after school.

The school district continues to grow 6 percent to 7 percent a year the last five years.

By percentage of growth, Nixa is the fastest-growing school district in Missouri, according to Reid.

Nixa voters may be asked to build Nixa's fifth elementary school in a vote next April, according to Reid. The school board is looking to buy approximately 20 acres for a fifth elementary school, Reid said.

Because of growth, two new elementary schools will be needed within three years.

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