Shawnee Mission moving forward to consolidate administration buildings; more school sites may be needed

Antioch Middle School on 71st Street.
Antioch Middle School on 71st Street would be razed to make way for a consolidated administrative center.

The prospect that the unused Antioch Middle School property will become the site of a new central administration building for the Shawnee Mission School District moved forward another notch this week. The board approved hiring J.E. Dunn as the company to provide construction manager at risk services (Construction Manager as Constructor).

Dunn will not be the construction company, but will serve as the construction management agency and will have risk in the project’s completion. The new building is currently being designed by ACI Boland Architects. It is planned to consolidate school administrative services in several buildings around the district.

The new center, being called the Center for Academic Achievement at least temporarily, would combine some functions now housed at McEachen Adminstrative Center, the Indian Creek Technology Center, Arrowhead, Broadmoor and the Shawnee Mission Instructional Support Center (SMISC).

Superintendent Jim Hinson said the purpose of the consolidation is to save operational costs. He indicated the district also will review which people in administrative services and support need to be working from school buildings. The administrative part of the building, Hinson said, will be less than half the size of the Indian Creek site.

The district also plans to move some of its high school signature programs into the new center. Specifically, the culinary arts program is likely to be one program relocated to the new center, possibly with bio technology programs. “We want to make sure we get the signature programs right,” Hinson said. It will be a few months before the architects are ready with a recommendation, he added.

The Indian Creek and Broadmoor sites may be needed for schools. “The possibility of us needing additional school sites is real,” Hinson said. One need would be for temporary relocation sites for elementary schools that will be rebuilt as part of a planned bond issue. The administrative center will be paid from capital outlay funds and will not be part of a proposed bond issue announced this week. Its cost is estimated at $26 million with a completion date in the fall of 2016.

As part of the bond issue package, Hinson listed razing the SMISC site, but keeping the land in Overland Park for future use. The current Antioch school building also will be razed to make way for the center.