Tonganoxie unveils massive new state-of-the-art elementary school

Aug 10, 2015 by

These two facts say a lot about why folks in Tonganoxie are talking about their new school.

One: There hasn’t been a new elementary school built from the ground up there in more than a century.

Two: The state-of-the-art school, which opens in less than two weeks in the small northeast Kansas town, is apparently the largest elementary school building in the state.

“That’s huge,” said Nathan McCommon, Tonganoxie’s city administrator. “Overall, the school district is the most attractive draw for people who want to move here. The new school makes my job, promoting the town, a lot easier.”

Tonganoxie is a 30-minute drive from downtown Kansas City and 10 from the Legends Outlets mall, Kansas Speedway and the new Cerner campus in western Wyandotte County. In the last 10 years, it has seen 30 percent growth in population. About 850 people lived in Tonganoxie when the old elementary school was built in 1902. More than 5,000 live there today, and the school district reaches well outside the city limits to unincorporated areas.

“I would say the school district has struggled to keep up with demands,” McCommon said. Elementary-school-age children were crammed into the overpopulated old school in Tonganoxie’s downtown.

That won’t be a problem in the new, two-story, 145,000-square-foot Tonganoxie Elementary building. It has room for 1,200 students, 350 more than the 850 enrolled for the coming school year, which starts Aug. 20.

And there’s plenty of space for extras, such as the fit pit, with age-appropriate exercise equipment right next to one of the two gyms. It has three music rooms, a life skills office and a volunteer center. With cavernous hallways, the building is as big as three football fields.

The old elementary school could fit inside it twice, said Lyn Rantz, Tonganoxie’s schools superintendent.

That’s what $27.2 million can buy.

Source: Tonganoxie unveils massive new state-of-the-art elementary school | The Kansas City Star

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