Some schools at capacity in Shawnee Mission district, Hinson says; aquatics also part of facilities review

Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson used his iPad during an NEJC Chamber speech today.
Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson used his iPad during an NEJC Chamber speech today.

“We have some capacity issues in some areas,” Shawnee Mission School Superintendent Jim Hinson said during a luncheon speech today to the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. Hinson gave the group a preview of projects that might be included in an imminent facilities committee report and in a possible 2015 bond issue.

“There are places where we can’t take anymore students,” he said. The committee working on recommendations is looking at capacity concerns and aging buildings to determine where it is more cost effective to rebuild. At least one elementary rebuild per high schools district is being considered, he said.

Aquatics also may be addressed in the report. “We cannot host a conference (or state) swim meets. We rent from Olathe.” Hinson said the facilities committee believes that is not acceptable. Safety and security measures are important to patrons and are another priority in the potential bond projects. Hinson said most of the high schools have 50 to 70 exterior doors, but the district plans to address security at all grade levels.

If the district moves forward with building a new administration center at the Antioch Middle School site, it could also house signature programs and the culinary classes now at Broadmoor, he indicated. That would free Broadmoor to be used for students who are displaced while their school is being rebuilt. A new administration center, which is anticipated in the capital improvement budget this year, would be an efficiency move to consolidate administrative services.

Using his iPad for notes during the presentation, Hinson said the technology rollout in the district has gone “better than anticipated.” It is “one of the largest rollouts Apple has been a part of,” he said. All students in the district will have a laptop or iPad for their use when the project is completed. “Access to knowledge is the goal,” he said. High school distribution finishes this week.

Referring to the recently completed strategic planning, Hinson said there could be some “strategic abandonment.” Just because we have been doing something does not mean we should continue, he said. “We are preparing our students for competition in the world.”