Briarwood students and parents mark start of new building

Briarwood Principal Chris Lash and students marked the ceremonial beginning of the new school.
Briarwood Principal Chris Lash and students marked the ceremonial beginning of the new school.

The new Briarwood Elementary School had its official groundbreaking ceremony set against a backdrop of the nearly completed demolition of the old school building.

“It is a beautiful day to be a Bulldog,” Principal Chris Lash told the large group of parents and students gathered for a well-attended ceremony. The school’s 572 students are at the Broadmoor Center while the new school is being built on the school site on 86th Street east of Nall. “Today begins the process to build our dream school,” Lash said.

The new building will be built to house nearly the same number of students, but like the other new schools in the district, it is designed so an addition of two or four classrooms can be made easily. The new school also will house three early childhood education rooms.

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson, with Mayor Laura Wassmer in attendance, complemented Prairie Village on its cooperation in the planning process. The architect of the project also said parent engagement in the design. Briarwood parents had raised concerns in the design process, notably about razing the school’s gym.

Dr. Kent Peach, former Briarwood principal, also attended the ceremony.

The last few remnants of the old school served as the backdrop for Friday's groundbreaking ceremony.
The last few remnants of the old school served as the backdrop for Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Dr. Kent Peach (far right), former principal, joined Principal Chris Lash (far left) and Steve Dunn in the shovel turning.
Dr. Kent Peach (far right), former principal, joined Principal Chris Lash (far left) and Steve Dunn in the shovel turning.