Citing parents’ concerns about health risks to students, Shawnee Mission delays demolition timeline for Trailwood

Trailwood-Entrance-winter2015

Following a meeting between district officials, construction contractors as well as the school principal and PTA president, the Shawnee Mission School District announced Tuesday that it would delay the planned demolition of the original Trailwood Elementary school until class has dismissed for the summer. Asbestos abatement will be carried out when students are out of class at the new school directly adjacent to the original building over Spring Break in March.

Superintendent Jim Hinson sent the following message to Trailwood families on Tuesday on the decision:

Dear Trailwood Community,

Today, representatives from the school district, JE Dunn, officials from the Kansas State Department of Health, a pediatric environmental hygienist from Children’s Mercy Hospital, representatives from the asbestos abatement company, building principal, and PTA president met to discuss the demolition plan for Trailwood Elementary School. The meeting offered an opportunity to gather information from a broad group of experts. The discussion was productive, and Greg Lawrence and Christa Rupp shared questions that were submitted by parents.  During the meeting, we learned that the necessary staging areas for the demolition will require the use of nearly all remaining green space at the site. This would leave the school without a playground area for the remainder of the school year. This further limitation of play space would not be in the best interest of our students. The issues expressed by parents and members of the community regarding health concerns related to demolition of the existing structure while students are attending school and the constraints posed by the logistics of the demolition have led to our decision to adjust the demolition timeline.

Demolition will be delayed until the end of the school year. The interior abatement work will occur in March, during spring break, when school is not in session. The adjusted schedule will mean that the final phase of the project including playground, field, parking and drive areas will not complete by the start of the 2017-2018 school year as originally planned. We anticipate final completion of the entire project to be prior to the end of the first semester. While we understand there is an eagerness to complete the project and the district will incur some additional cost to adjust the schedule, we must place our students’ best interest at the forefront of our decision making.

The new school has been received with great excitement and positive reviews during our first days in the new building. We appreciate your understanding regarding this decision and thank you for your continued patience and support as we move through the final phases of the project.

Sincerely,

Jim Hinson, Ed.D.

Superintendent