FAA gives approval for district to continue construction on preschool building

GAINESVILLE, Mo. -- An Ozarks school district recently got federal approval to continue construction on its new preschool building. District leaders say the addition of a preschool building is much-needed news for the Gainesville R-5 School District.

In mid-April, construction began on Gainesville's preschool building. It didn't get far before the Federal Aviation Administration stopped construction to perform an aeronautical study. That's because just a hundred yards are so from the site, across the street, is the city's airport.

"I've seen one airplane, in two years, when I've been on campus, take off. That was about three months ago," Gainesville Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Hyatt told KY3.

Across from the Gainesville Junior High and High School building, is the city's airport.

According to the airport's manager, the 1,800 foot runway doesn't see too much traffic.

"So we really never thought much about it being an issue. But standards are a lot different than they were in 1963," Dr. Hyatt said.

After three weeks of paperwork and work with an FAA representative, the district received a letter from the FAA saying there was no hazard to air navigation and construction could continue.

The FAA only needs measurements of the building's height, before everything is complete.

"We will to measure our building within five days from finishing it and send that total in," Dr. Hyatt added.

The Preschool director, Brandi Miller, says this is great news for a district that's worked for a decade to expand.

"For ten to twelve years, we have looked at a need to expand preschool. But due to restriction in classroom space and available funding, we were unable to do that," Miller explained.

State and federal funds will pay for the preschool center.

It will have two classrooms, with room for up to 40 kids. That's double what the district had room for previously.

"Preschool is almost the new Kindergarten and it's becoming a very necessary component, not only academically, but also just the structure, the routine...having that experience makes it a lot smoother transition into Kindergarten," Miller exclaimed.

Dr. Hyatt says the city, school district and airport are in discussions about possibly moving the airport in the future.

The preschool building will be ready at the start of the school year.