Photo: An extension to Boone Elementary School, the Yellowjacket Early Learning Center will open September 8. Photo by Bill Rankin
Center School District opens with newly built ECC building and other bond projects
By Sandy Foster
Spring of 2020 brought changes to the Kansas City area, and not just due to the pandemic. In a recent interview, Christina Medina, Central School District Director of Public Relations explained, “Construction to the buildings has been going well over the summer. Covid-19 may have altered many of our plans, but it proved helpful for getting a lot of work completed with the extra time brought about when the schools let out early this spring.”
Funds for the projects are coming from the $48 million no tax increase bond voters approved on April 2, 2019. The bond has allowed the district to update all buildings to increase safety for students and teachers, fund maintenance and infrastructure projects, build a new Indian Creek Elementary and update the early childhood building.
The following improvements have been completed in the past few months:
Yellowjacket Early Learning Center
The Early Learning Center has been renamed Yellowjacket Early Learning Center. The new name will be on the building when students return to school on September 8th. The building has been reconfigured to accommodate four added classrooms, a designated gymnasium, and a secure entrance into the building. Interior and exterior security lighting have been added as well. The district hopes to expand to full day learning.
Security lighting has been added both inside and outside of the building, security cameras are now in place, and a secure entrance has been completed. Restrooms have been updated and three classrooms have been added to the building. The school will be ready to open whenever students return from virtual learning.
Red Bridge Elementary
A new gymnasium has been added onto the building, and the old gym has been converted into an art room and music room. The cafeteria has been upgraded and security cameras, security lighting, (both indoors and out) have been added along with a secure front entrance.
Indian Creek Elementary
“The building walls are up, and it will be enclosed soon. The floors are in,” said Ms. Medina. “Construction workers have another year to work on the building. It is slated to ready by the 2021-2022 school year. It has an outdoor classroom and two floors of learning.”
The School Board will be moving their meetings from Boone Elementary to Indian Creek once the building is complete.
“Boone Elementary is where the School Board met previously,” explained Medina. “That space has been reconfigured into a collaborative space for professional development and staff meetings.” A secure entrance has been added to the building along with security cameras and security lighting, both indoors and out.
Center Middle School
The front entrance has been secured, security cameras have been added and security lighting has been installed inside and outside the building.
“Construction crews are working to reconfigure the building to make it more secure,” said Medina. “New flooring has been added to the building, but some projects are ongoing. Updates will be given to the Board at the August 24th meeting,” she said.
Center High School
“Security cameras and indoor and outdoor lighting have been added. The front entrance has been secured as well. Restrooms will be completed in the next phase of the construction project,” said Medina. “State of the art chillers have been installed and are very efficient, improving airflow throughout the building.”
“We are very excited about a matching grant the District received from the NFL in the amount of $25,000. This enabled the District to build a new turf field. This has freed up the old field to be used for practices, soccer, and band. We are very thankful to have all the added space.”