Project File: Funding new schools

The Lee's Summit R-7 School District broke ground on the district's third high school and a new alternative school last September, both scheduled to open in fall of 2004.

West High School and Summit Ridge Academy were funded by a $67.9 million April 2002 bond issue. The bond issue was designed to help handle the school district's rapidly increasing enrollment, and improve parity between older and new schools. One of Missouri's fastest-growing school districts, Lee's Summit has gained an annual average of almost 500 students since 1990.

The $40.7 million high school is designed for 1,600 students in 283,730 square feet, but will allow for expansion to 2,000. It will feature a crescent-shaped academic wing, a design element that will maximize natural light in the instructional areas by creating three rings of classrooms, thereby allowing most classrooms to have windows with outside views. A wedge-shaped activity area bisects the crescent wing and results in a dynamic outdoor courtyard for student interaction, activities and circulation. Administration offices will be at the intersection of the crescent and the wedge, allowing administrators to monitor the public entrance as well as student activities.

The $1.8 million alternative school will house 225 students in grades 7 through 12 in 15,919 square feet. It will replace a small house and several mobile classroom trailers that house the alternative program on the Lee's Summit High School campus.

The bond issue also is funding renovations at five district schools, instructional technology upgrades, relocation and construction of the district's facility-services building; and additional school buses.

Architect for the project is DLR Group (Overland Park, Kan.).

For more information on these projects and others, visit www.schooldesigns.com.

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