The Barstow School is expanding its footprint to include an extended campus in Leawood.
The Leawood city council on Monday unanimously approved Barstow’s plans to repurpose the former Hy-Vee building at 12200 State Line Road into an educational center that will serve students and families in the metro area.
“Tonight’s vote by the Leawood city council begins a new era for The Barstow School,” said Shane Foster, president and head of school. “Barstow’s Leawood campus will serve as a center of creativity and collaboration, and allow communities on both sides of the state line to benefit from enhanced educational opportunities.”
Ashley Stroud, director of external affairs for the Barstow School, said the Leawood Plaza site is optimal for the school because it is close to the main campus, but being on the Kansas side of the state line makes it easy to access for students; more than 70 percent of Barstow students live in Kansas.
Barstow serves about 700 students from preschool through grade 12, including students from other area schools who may attend extended day classes there. Stroud said all divisions will remain at the Kansas City, Mo., campus at 11511 State Line Road.
Leawood Plaza will house Barstow’s first campus in Kansas. The purchase will increase the size of Barstow’s campus by more than 50 percent.
Stroud said Leawood has been a good partner, so school leaders saw this as an opportunity to partner further with local city leaders and the community.
“It’s initially a blank canvas for us to create and innovate and offer new and expanded programming similar to what we have summer at Barstow,” Stroud said. “We have all kinds of great program options for kids, not just kids that go to Barstow but other kids in the community. And we envision the same things for our Leawood campus.”
The Leawood Plaza campus will be used for additional programming especially in STEAM, Stroud said, adding that the expansion is not intended to take away from benefits at the main campus. STEAM covers subjects in science, technology (including robotics), engineering, art and mathematics.
Barstow is also expanding its early childhood development and daycare programming for the new facility.
“It’s really an enhancement to what we can offer for our students and kids in the community in general, and maybe adults as well,” he said.
Stroud said they hope to begin construction right away within the 62,000 square feet of new space, after they conceptualize and design plans for the new space. Their hope is to open phase one by summer 2019 and be fully operational by the end of next year.
“We’re really excited; it’s an amazing opportunity,” he said. “We’re looking forward to bringing expanded, high-quality education and programming to Leawood and the surrounding area.”