Hundreds of students, their family members, community members, city officials, and school and district staff celebrated a momentous event on Monday, March 6 at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Rushton Elementary school.
The ceremony opened with a flag ceremony and the pledge of allegiance led by Rushton Elementary Girl Scouts. The school choir performed “Walk Through Life” and a student representative from each grade level helped take a shovel to the dirt, officially kicking off construction of the building.
“No matter where we are, we are Rushton- the students and the teachers,” said Charlie Dunker, Rushton sixth grader and student council president. “With this new building we will have more resources for the teachers to teach and for the students to learn to meet the new challenges of our generation.”
Rushton is one of five elementary schools being rebuilt as part of the $264 million bond referendum. As the building was being planned, the Rushton school community was engaged to make sure the new building meets the needs of current and future Rushton teachers and students.
Among the notable features of the new building will be:
- Large corridors for collaborative learning
- A covered outdoor classroom
- LEED-certified and environmentally friendly features
- Two dedicated playground spaces
- A makers’ lab for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning and hands-on discovery
In addition to five elementary school rebuilds, the bond is allowing for improvements across the Shawnee Mission school district. Tomahawk Elementary will be the fifth and final elementary school to be rebuilt. Renovations to Trailridge Middle School and Shawnee Mission South High School are slated to begin later this year.
Projects that have recently concluded include the addition of a large classroom and collaboration space at Shawnee Mission East, which also received an elevator and restroom renovations. Westridge Middle School received two new collaboration spaces, a new outdoor classroom, renovations to the main office, counselor offices, conference room, and restrooms. At Horizons, the cafeteria and commons areas have been renovated. Restrooms at Horizons will be renovated over the summer.
Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard expressed gratitude for the community’s strong support.
“In Shawnee Mission, we know that education and strong schools are truly valued by our community. I would like to thank our community members, county, city, and business leaders, and everyone here today for the continuous support of our schools and our students,” said Hubbard.
To follow bond progress visit https://www.smsd.org/bond-2021.