New OTC Campus, Ash Grove school bond, Wildwood Plaza among top stories for 2018

1) Wildwood Plaza in Republic is announced, including Flat Creek Restaurant

The owners of Flat Creek Restaurant announced in February they would open a new location in Republic at the site of Wildwood Plaza by October of 2018. At the groundbreaking of the property on March 23, it was announced that the property would not only be the site of the restaurant, but also two retail malls. The first business to move into Wildwood Plaza, Elliott, Robinson and Company, held their ribbon cutting on Dec. 11, 2018. Flat Creek, citing certain issues which have since been overcome, announced they now expect to open their Republic location later this month.
2) OTC announces new Republic Campus
The passing of Propositions A and B during the April 3 election in Greene County allowed Ozarks Technical College to secure the funds necessary to build a new campus in Republic on eight acres of land donated by the Bussey, Lipscomb and Cox families near the intersection of Highway 60 and Colorado Avenue. The building will cover 30,000 square feet and have 10 classrooms and three science labs. Ground breaking will take place later this month; the building is expected to be ready for classes in August of 2020.
3) Ash Grove voters support $800,000 no-tax-increase bond
Ash Grove voters cast heavily in favor of Proposition 2, an $800,000 no-tax-increase bond for the Ash Grove School District, during the April 3 election. The funds from the bond were used to make capital improvements on the Ash Grove and Bois D’Arc campuses, ranging from heating and air conditioning replacements to new security measures. Dr. Aaron Gerla, superintendent of schools, said the bond would allow the district to complete 14 different projects throughout the district which would impact “every single student we serve.”
4) Republic OK’s high-end development on south side of town
The Republic City Council voted to rezone 66 acres on the south side of Republic for a subdivision that will be called Valley Trail. The 150-home development will be on smaller lots, but with home prices in the ballpark of $250,000. Despite objections from neighbors, the gated community was cleared to begin at the April 3 Republic City Council meeting.
5) Tornado strikes Republic
An EF-1 tornado touched down in Republic on Saturday, Dec. 1. No one was injured, but the twister caused a substantial amount of damage, including the destruction of the Meek’s lumber warehouse and a large barn at 1590 State Highway 174, about one-mile west of Republic. Several businesses also had signs destroyed, and numerous trees and telephone poles were knocked over. The tornado reached peak wind speeds of 95 miles per hour and traveled a path two-and-half miles long and 60 yards wide. The same storm earlier produced a tornado in Aurora where one man was killed while staying at the Aurora Motel.



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