olathe west hs Olathe West High School/Facebook

Olathe (Kan.) district opens its 5th high school

$82 million Olathe West High welcomes students

The Olathe (Kan.) school district has opened Olathe West High School, the system's fifth high school.

The Kansas City Star reports that the $82 million 375,000-square-foot campus welcomed about 900 freshmen, sophomores and juniors to the first day of classes. The school will add a senior class next year and has capacity for 2,000 students.

Olathe, the second-largest district in Kansas, has about 30,000 students, and is about 25 miles southwest of Kansas City.

District officials say the school has been constructed to emulate the feel of a start-up workplace or a college campus.

“Twenty years ago the teacher was the smartest person in the room,” says Principal Jay Novacek. “We really felt like it was time for us to find a new way to engage kids.”

The three-story building features a centrally situated learning commons that provide student gathering and education collaboration spaces. The school is designed with four learning communities.

Each of the students will be issued laptop computers to fulfill the school's one-to-one technology initiative. The school also offers academy programs focused on green technology and public safety.

The architects are Hollis + Miller and SHW Group.

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