Platte County R-3’s newest building will open this week with only one potential inconvenience.
The district held an open house at Compass Elementary on Thursday, Aug. 11 — one week before the first day of classes — to allow students, parents and community members to take an early look. The only noticeable work left is on the playgrounds, which might not be fully installed.
Platte County and West Platte were both slated to start classes this week with new and/or updated facilities.
Compass Elementary is the centerpiece of a $29 million growth management capital improvement project at Platte County. Work took only about 10 months on the building, but other preparations have been made for the adjustment in grade progression.
Starting with this school year, Compass and Siegrist Elementary will accommodate kindergarten through fifth grades, helping absorb the students due to two major changes.
Rising Star Elementary, a kindergarten only facility first opened in 1954, closed at the end of this past spring, while Platte County High School will annex Paxton Elementary — a fourth- and fifth-grade building — starting in 2016-17.
Renovations to Paxton and Siegrist were also a part of Platte County’s project, funded through a tax levy increase approved in the spring of 2015.
Siegrist, about 20 years old, previously housed first through third grades. Administrators there submitted a list of priority projects, and about $42,000 went to various renovations, including reconfiguration of four storage rooms to create additional classroom space, computer lab adjustments and new signage outside of classrooms.
In addition to the Platte City changes, Pathfinder Elementary in the southern portion of the district also will debut major changes.
About $4 million went into renovation plus an addition to the building. This project expands the current kindergarten through second grade facility by adding 14 classrooms, a multipurpose room and additional parking to increase the student capacity by 280 students.
This will help Pathfinder transition to a K-4 facility and help relieve overcrowding at nearby Barry School, which will go from a third through eighth grade setup to fifth through eighth.
These changes fall in line with the district’s plan to better manage school transitions within the realigned building setup.
School started at West Platte on Wednesday, Aug. 17 with construction work ongoing not only on the district’s buildings but also at a major intersection near the school. The two simultaneous projects will likely cause some inconveniences during the first part of the school year.
The district’s project started in June of 2015.
Work continues in the phased project, which comes in at a cost of about $7 million. The master plan includes moving the West Platte School District Central office adjacent to the new stadium, the construction of a new press box, locker rooms and concession stand, expanding the parking area at the elementary school, construction of a dedicated maintenance building and expansion and renovations to the high school.
The district plans to unveil the new $1.7 million Rudolph Eskridge Stadium and Joe Collison Field ahead of the first scheduled football game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 against Central Academy of Excellence. The event will run from 5 to 7 p.m., and members of the community and West Platte alumni will receive free admission to the football game.
The tour will include new science labs, band room expansion and life skills facility at the high school and the new central office, playground and multi-purpose rooms at the stadium complex. Other new areas may be available to tour, dependent on construction progress.
The City of Weston’s reconstruction project to update and improve Washington and Spring streets started in mid-July and is expected to continue into the fall. Construction could affect school traffic, and with that in mind, residents can check for progress and possible closures and detours at https://local.nixle.com/alert/5686936.
Like Platte County R-3, North Platte starts classes on Thursday, Aug. 18, while the Park Hill School District will be on to its second week of classes after opening on Thursday, Aug. 11.