USD 458 is continuing construction on a bond passed in 2018. The bond accounted for additions to the middle school, an early learning center and two new elementary schools.
“Our growth is about 3% a year. This year alone we added more than 100 kids, K-12. We are running out of classrooms. We want to be ready,” superintendent David Howard said.
The additions to the middle school will include building 4 classrooms to each wing and a performing arts center to the backside. The additional cost has not been noted, although construction is set to start in late February or early March. Besides these future renovations, the middle school has already undergone many changes, including the addition of the new parking lot and an alternate bus route.
“I used to pick up my sister,” says sophomore Taylor High. “The busses using the main entrance creates unnecessary confusion and stress. We needed this bus route.”
The district also plans to add two new elementary schools, which will be called North and South. The locations of the two elementary schools have not yet been finalized, although they plan to release the locations in late September. Both elementary schools will hold around 300-350 students and will hire at least one teacher per grade level, along with administration and other faculty members. These schools are set to open in 2022, as the design process for an elementary school takes 3-4 months, and construction takes around 15 months.
“Both schools will be filled, with the South elementary school getting most of its students from Linwood Elementary, as well as several students from GRE,”said Howard.
The district is also adding a separate building, just down from the Basehor Community Library, that will serve as an early childcare center within the district. The building is set to cost around 6 million dollars and will be approximately 4000 square feet. The preschool will include eight classrooms for early learning and four classrooms for staff childcare.
“We want to give teachers childcare that is easier for them to access. They will still pay for the care, but it is good for them to know that they have this,” Howard said.
While the growth is accounted for between the elementary and middle schools, some still wonder how the highschool will withstand the heavy growth within the district.
“Our end goal with the high school is to expand on the CTE, pushing the building into what is the current baseball fields,” Howard said.
For more information, visit the district website at https://www.usd458.org.