With the recent completions of Briarwood and Trailwood Elementaries and the expected opening of the new Crestview Elementary in the coming months, northeast Johnson County has been the site of much of the construction activity fueled by the Shawnee Mission School District’s 2015 bond issue vote. And there’s one more new school building on its way.
District administrators are making plans to prepare for the demolition of Brookwood Elementary at 3411 W 103rd St in Leawood over the summer with hopes that they can break ground on a new school building there in late summer or early fall.
Brookwood students will spend the 2017-18 school year — and likely beyond — attending classes at the Indian Creek Technology Center just over half a mile to the west of their home school on 103rd Street, much like Briarwood students attended classes at Broadmoor while their new school was being built. The district will begin moving the departments currently housed at the Indian Creek building, including district technology staffers, into the new Center for Academic Achievement in mid-to-late March. At that point, work will begin readying Indian Creek, a former junior high that hasn’t housed classroom activities for decades, to accommodate Brookwood students.
The district’s construction partners J.E. Dunn Construction and Hollis and Miller Architects have made significant progress on draft plans for the new Brookwood building. Shawnee Mission Deputy Superintendent Kenny Southwick said Hollis and Miller was “95 percent” of the way done with initial building plans, and that the district would be presenting them to teachers and parents for feedback this spring.
Groundbreaking on the new building is expected this fall. Southwick said that while it was technically possible the school could be completed in time for students to start attending classes in the new building for the 2018-19 school year, it was more likely that the construction timeline would keep them at Indian Creek for three semesters and have them move in to the new school at the start of 2019.
The budget for the Brookwood project will be slightly higher than the approximately $18 million per building the district has spent on the other elementaries funded by the bond issue on account of site issues that will necessitate work not required for the other schools.
Southwick stressed how grateful the district had been with patron families’ patience during displacement caused by new building construction.
“It’s inconvenient to have to go to school in another building,” he said. “We’ve been so appreciative of families making that sacrifice while we’re building these new schools.”
To date, the bond issue has funded the replacement of Briarwood, Trailwood, Crestview and Rhein Benninghoven as well as Brookwood. The district will also eventually be replacing an elementary in the SM West attendance area, but has yet to announce which school that will be. The new Lenexa Hills Elementary has been funded by the bond issue as well.