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Bixby School Projects Nearing Completion

ACCOMMODATING DISTRICT GROWTH: Northeast Intermediate, 11901 E. 131st St., is nearing completion and will open for the 2018-2019 school year. The school is one of the first group of projects to be completed from the $142 million 2016 bond issue, which is planned to support the school district’s growth for 10 years.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

Phase II of Northeast Elementary and Intermediate, 11901 E. 131st St., is nearing completion, with the construction of the Intermediate school.

While the school is expected to be completed by early 2018, students will not begin attending until August 2018.

The 80,000-square-foot school will hold classrooms for grades 4-6 and music and band rooms.

As a cost-saving measure, the district is experimenting with a new concept in which the elementary and intermediate schools share a common kitchen but with separate eating rooms, says Superintendent Dr. Kyle Wood.

“This will improve our labor, equipment and construction costs.”

The two schools will also share a media center and gym but have separate playgrounds.

Northeast Intermediate will include safe rooms, which will be its band and music rooms. These will be large enough to hold all Intermediate students and staff in the case of severe weather.

All newly constructed schools include safe rooms, says Wood.

However, while the district’s standard safe room design involves a series of classrooms that serve as safe rooms, due to the layout of Northeast Intermediate, the most effective way to construct its safe rooms was to create two large rooms as opposed to a series of smaller rooms as in other schools, including Northeast Elementary, he continues.

Other projects across the district that are nearing completion include Phase II of the 9th Grade Center, which is expected to be completed by early next year. Like Northeast Intermediate, though, it will not officially open until the 2018-2019 school year.

At the High School, the instrumental music facility is almost completed, with new turf coming to the baseball, softball and football fields. The track will also be replaced and renovations done on the swimming pool.

These projects round out the initial projects outlined in the $142 million 2016 school bond, notes Wood.

Next on the project list is construction of the 7th Grade Center next to the Middle School, which will then become the 8th Grade Center. Also, elementary and intermediate schools are planned to be built on 130 acres at 151st Street and Harvard Avenue.

Wood expects the projects to begin by early 2019.

All of these projects make up the 10-year plan funded by the 2016 bond issue.

“If we stay on schedule, the plan is to have $30 million left over for the last two years of the bond to help replace portions of the High School classrooms,” he says.

Updated 10-09-2017

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