The Shawnee Mission (Kan.) district has opened two elementary schools that are replacing outdated facilities.
The district says classes began Wednesday in the newly built Trailwood and Briarwood schools, both in Overland Park, Kan.
Both schools have been built to offer flexible spaces and furniture, collaborative learning spaces, standalone gymnasiums and cafeterias, and better integration of technology.
The schools have been under construction since fall 2015. Both were constructed on the same site as the existing campuses. Briarwood students were relocated to a former junior high school during construction; Trailwood students remained in the existing building while construction took place a few feet away.
The district has plans to tear down the old Trailwood to make way for a new playground, a parking lot and a front drive. Asbestos abatement is scheduled to begin later this month, The Kansas City Star reports, but parents want the work to be postponed because of concerns that the abatement or the demolition could endanger students' health.
District officials say they will decide soon whether to delay the demolition.
The buildings were constructed with funds from a $223 million bond issue approved by voters in 2015. The bond program included a new elementary school building in each of the five high school attendance areas.