Whiteman Elementary 3The Knob Noster School District and Whiteman Airforce Base are celebrating 28 more years together. The two entities have signed a lease for the elementary located on the Airforce Base that will last through 2041.

Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Knob Noster Superintendent Jaret Tomlinson:

Jaret Tomlinson

The building needed a lot of updates before making the commitment. “Thanks to our local taxpayers, ponied up for the new levy last year, to help us afford to modernize this facility,” said Tomlinson. “So we have brand new heating, air conditioning throughout this building. New lighting, new control systems. We’re going to come back next summer and do some more construction in the front. Make a secure entryway system, make it more aesthetically pleasing. Just modernize the facility because we want it to be the best educational facility possible for the next 28 years.”

Whiteman Elementary 6Tomlinson said the building was not a safe environment for children before the foundation and other repairs were fixed.

“You have a small child who could have actually put their arm through an entire wall into the next room. That’s not safe. And so we took that very serious, and that was the very first thing we came in to do, was to fix that. And we got that rectified.”

They also approved lighting and the efficiency building, which will save the District money.

Whiteman Elementary 8The security improvements are currently being planned. “Knob Noster came to us almost a year ago, and they were interested in upgrading their security at four schools in the District,” said Matthew Ayers, a junior architect at Hollis and Miller. “They wanted to upgrade security at the High School, Middle School, and Whiteman. So we took this opportunity to kind of enhance the learning environment in those areas.”

The improvements include additional security measures for visitors and upgrades to the entryway. These safety features are becoming common in most school districts. “It’s a level of security, when you walk into the building you don’t have free reign of everywhere in the school,” said Lead Architect David Esely. “So any visitors that enter the school, they walk in and they actually have to be buzzed in. And then when they’re buzzed in they’re into a reception area and they actually have a face to talk to, as far as a secretary or receptionist, before they’re actually given free reign of the school.”

Whiteman Elementary 12The improvements were made possible by a 75 cent tax levy. Voters approved the measure in April.