SPS, MSU to Develop Agriculture Magnet School After $6.5 Million Donation

Missouri State University and Springfield Public Schools will be offering a new agricultural magnet school, and MSU will have a new companion animal education facility, thanks to a major donation.

A $6.5 million donation from William H. Darr and the Darr Family Foundation, part of the Onward, Upward fundraising campaign, will pay for construction of two buildings on the campus of the William H. Darr College of Agriculture located near Kansas Expressway in southwest Springfield.

“Gifts from Bill and Virginia Darr and the Darr Family Foundation have completely transformed the Darr College of Agriculture,” Missouri State President Clif Smart said in a statement. “This gift will allow us to further expand our programs to better serve the needs of southwest Missouri. We’re also excited to be a part of a new education option for students in Springfield.”

The magnet school for SPS will be open to around 150 students and should take their first class in fall 2021. The gift from the Darr Family Foundation is the largest known gift in the history of Springfield Public Schools.

“This generosity and our strong collaboration with Missouri State allows SPS to continue our expansion of choice programming for students and their families,” Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, said in a statement.

“The addition of an agriculture magnet school is an important part of a broader effort to enhance workforce development by ensuring our students are better prepared for a variety of college and career opportunities. We sincerely thank the Darr family and Missouri State for making this possible.”

Here’s the presentation to the Springfield Board of Education about the partnership:


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