A new John Diemer Elementary School building is under construction. Click here to see a video of the school groundbreaking!
Community members gathered Thursday, September 9, 2021, as the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new building was held. John Diemer choir students performed the school song. This tune that was rediscovered when students and staff were preparing to move to a temporary location as construction began. Students, district officials and project partners took a shovel to the construction site, drawing the applause of educators, family and community members in attendance.
“To the students who are here today, and to those viewing online, I want you to know that your community supports you!” exclaimed Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard. “This year we have welcomed the class of 2034. We all want you to have the best learning experience possible and that’s why we are building a new school for you and future Eagles.”
John Diemer is being rebuilt as part of the $264 million bond referendum approved by voters this year. The new building will be located at the same location, at the intersection of Lamar and 90th streets in Overland Park. The John Diemer Elementary school community took part in the design process, to make sure the new building would serve students well. Design aspects were implemented with the district’s strategic plan objective at the forefront: That each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers, with the interpersonal skills they need for life success.
John Diemer will feature:
- Flexible learning spaces for student collaboration
- Mini maker labs for student creative exploration
- LEED certification
- Outdoor classrooms and dining area
- Safety and security installed to district standards
- A grass sports field, walking trails, and inclusive playground equipment
- Safe student drop off and pick up with separate parent and bus access lanes
John Diemer is among five elementary school buildings that will be rebuilt as a result of the 2021 bond. Westwood View Elementary School began construction in Summer 2021 and will be followed by Pawnee Elementary School in 2022. Rushton and Tomahawk Elementary Schools are planned for rebuilds in 2023.
The bond is also allowing for improvements across the school district, some of which have been completed this summer. Work has been underway on weight room additions and restroom renovations will be made at Shawnee Mission North High School. Shawnee Mission Northwest’s restrooms and commons are being remodeled. Indian Woods is undergoing a restroom remodel and three-story addition.
Multiple buildings received heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) updates, playground replacements, roof repair and replacement, asphalt repair and overlay, security upgrades, furniture replacement, and carpet and floor tile upgrades over the summer. The referendum also allows the district to move custodial salaries from the operating fund into capital outlay, which will allow for the hiring of additional secondary teachers.
We are grateful to our entire SMSD community for supporting student success through the bond approval. This support is essential to the strength of SMSD schools.