Nowlin Middle School will be adding a second gymnasium. The Independence Board of Education announced Tuesday that it is accepting contractor bids to build the addition.

The $85 million bond issue that was passed in 2009, which brought two new elementary schools – Little Blue and Abraham Mallinson – and building improvements for virtually every school in the district, had leftover funds as the result of many projects being completed under budget and a very competitive bidding process. With those extra funds, the district is now able to take bids for the gym construction.

“Nowlin is a large school housing more than 750 students,” said school district spokeswoman Nancy Lewis. “So this is a much needed addition. We even have some sports teams practicing at 6 a.m. because the gym is packed the rest of the day.”

Nowlin principal Cristin Nowak said the staff are very excited about the prospect of having a new gym. She said that the new gym will be a “prideful place” and “they (Nowlin Middle School) will be able to support public events and will reflect positively on the school as a whole.”

Also discussed were requests for wireless networking systems.

“Gone are the days of one computer lab with a set of wired computers serving the students who are in the lab that day,” said Independence school district director of technology Blake Zachary. “We’re looking at students and teachers being able to access technology in the classroom, or wherever they are in the building.”

According to Lewis, the school district seeks to implement a high client density wireless network spanning all campuses in order to enhance mobile access to services in support of learning, teaching and administration.