Wichita breaks ground on new southeast K-8 school

The cold weather didn’t stop people from thinking about spring flowers during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new K-8 school in the southeast quadrant of the Wichita Public Schools’ district. On December 1, district officials and guests used gold shovels to officially break ground on the site, located a ¼ mile north of 143rd Street East and Pawnee.

“This is a great day for the Wichita Public Schools and for people in the southeast community,” said Superintendent John Allison. “The new school will accommodate the growth that we continue to see here in the area.”

“We are excited to give our students another great facility to help our students learn and be poised for success,” said Kathy Busch, Assistant Superintendent of Middle Schools.

Following the gold shovel celebration,

Student Ambassadors from Gordon Parks, Horace Mann, Seltzer, Earhart and Allen planted daffodil bulbs, donated by Johnson’s Garden Center, around the sign near the construction entrance. The flowers that will bloom in the spring and beautify the site symbolize the children who will grow as they attend the school and that planting the seeds of our future takes time, care and nurturing. Guests also took the opportunity to place bulbs in the dirt.

The K-8 school is being built to relieve overcrowding in schools in the growing southeast area and to accommodate future growth. The new K-8 school features three classroom wings, a media center/library, 800-seat auditorium and music suites, and a gymnasium that will serve as the safe room/storm shelter.

The building is designed so that as demand warrants in the future, a second gym and classroom expansion can be constructed on the site. It is also designed to become a middle school as district growth demands. GLMV Architecture is the architect on the project. Straub Construction Company is the general contractor. The total contract amount is $16,157,800, which is more than $3.3 million under budget. The school will be completed and ready for students in the fall of 2012.

A committee will be named by the Board of Education during the summer to study naming options for the new school. The school’s principal, staff, colors, mascot, and other school-related items will be decided later. Boundaries for the new K-8 school will be determined during the 2011-2012 school year. The Wichita Public Schools will host public meetings in the fall of 2011 to allow parents and community members to provide feedback.

More information about the Wichita Public Schools’ bond issue can be found at www.bond2008.usd259.org

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