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11-18-22 — District Breaks Grounds on New Santa Fe Trail Middle School
Nov. 18, 2022 ~ After months of planning, the district has officially broken ground on the new Santa Fe Trail Middle School. On Nov. 17, members of the Olathe Board of Education, district administration, the Santa Fe Trail community and more gathered to celebrate the ceremonious start to the construction process. This project is part of the 2022 Bond election to provide an updated facility that better meets the needs of students and provides equal educational opportunities for students through a high-quality learning space.
“This day would not be possible without the support of our greater Olathe community, who recently passed the largest bond in district history of nearly $300 million, providing the funding necessary to make our vision of a new Santa Fe Trail a reality,” said Superintendent Dr. Brent Yeager. “I cannot thank you all enough.”
Originally constructed in 1968, the current Santa Fe Trail building has undergone renovations and additions to maintain the facility. However, in looking at the continued infrastructure challenges, as well as the outdated design, small classroom space and the cost to continue renovating the existing building, a fresh start was the best answer for the Santa Fe Trail community.
The new Santa Fe Trail will be constructed on the existing campus, allowing students and staff to remain in the current facility and continue teaching and learning uninterrupted until the new facility is ready. The estimated timeframe for construction is two years, with a projection of substantial completion around April 2024.
Members of the Olathe Board of Education, Olathe Mayor John Bacon, several city council members, Olathe leaders, community partners, as well as students and administrators from Santa Fe Trail gathered for the special groundbreaking ceremony. Speakers included Superintendent Dr. Brent Yeager, Board President Shannon Wickliffe, Principal J.J. Libal, and several sixth grade students who will have the opportunity to attend school in the new building once construction is complete.
“One of my favorite responsibilities as a board member is the opportunity to celebrate milestones with our community at events just like this,” Wickliffe said. “Today’s groundbreaking is a little different than what we would normally see. Often, these events celebrate the start of a brand-new school and community. But today, we have the perfect blend of honoring the past and the rich history of a school community that has been with us for more than 50 years, while also looking toward a bright new future.”
Newkirk Novak, construction manager of the project, is collaborating with Hollis+Miller Architects, Henderson Engineers and Olsson for the project.