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Examiner
  • Grain Valley school bonds on February ballot

  • As the Grain Valley School District continues to grow, classroom space becomes an immediate need and that cannot be more true than at Grain Valley High School.

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  • As the Grain Valley School District continues to grow, classroom space becomes an immediate need and that cannot be more true than at Grain Valley High School.
    “There is an immediate need for classroom space at our high school for programs that require larger classrooms, such as science, family and consumer sciences, art and engineering,” said Brad Welle, Grain Valley assistant superintendent. “This addition will provide for these immediate needs while adding to the overall capacity of the high school.”
    The Grain Valley Board of Education voted in November to place a $4.6 million bond issue on the Feb. 5 ballot. The issue will not increase taxes.
    The bond issue will fund the first phase of the Grain Valley High School master plan, affecting the southeast corner of the current building. This includes five new science classrooms, an additional set of student restrooms and collaborative learning spaces for both students and staff. These five classrooms will be much larger than the traditional classrooms, for classes that require additional space such as FACS, science, art and engineering.
    In addition, the loop road around this new addition will be rerouted and a traffic signal at the entrance of Grain Valley High School along Eagles Parkway will be installed. Welle said this is important because it will improve traffic flow and safety along the parkway.
    If funds allow, the district also has plans for additional projects.
    “We plan to put out alternate bids to add road access east to Garden Street, across a piece of property we recently acquired that will allow us to add parking to the northeast of the school as part of future phases,” Welle said. “Also included as alternate bids with this bond issue are improvements to the stadium and the addition of a greenhouse attached to the base bid addition.”
    The stadium renovations include a new concession and restroom facility, an improved waste management system, an expanded pedestrian plaza across the north side of the stadium and a new ticket booth/stadium entry.
    The 2013 bond issue is only the first phase of the high school’s master plan, which will eventually expand the high school to accommodate 1,500 students. Currently, there are about 950 students ninth through 12th grade. Most of the phases will focus on increasing the amount of instructional space in the school. Other phases will include updating utilities and other infrastructure as well as relocating the transportation facilities, currently to the south of the high school, to make additional space available.
    The master plan was developed by Hollis and Miller earlier this year after a series of meetings with staff and administration. Once completed, the expansion of the high school will almost double its current 145,000 square feet to almost 266,000 square feet. In a subsequent phase, the administration offices and main entry will be moved from the west side of the building to the north facing Route AA. This will help to give the high school a new identify as its student population continues to grow.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This master plan and bond issue are the result of a planning process that began in the fall of 2011 with public forums on the long-range needs of the school district, with an emphasis on what our parents and patrons envisioned for the ideal size and function of our high school. As a result of this input, we worked with architects to design a master plan of how the current building could be added onto and improvements could be made to the school to improve the overall traffic flow within the school and to update the look of the school,” Welle said. “The ideal high school size was determined to be 1,250 students. We will need for this school to have a capacity of 1,400 to 1,500 before we begin construction on a second high school. It will be several years before we need a second high school, but that day will come, and we want to be prepared.”
     
     

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