A new era begins in Tonganoxie
Classes start Thursday at state-of-art TES
It’s been a few years in the making, but the new, state-of-the-art Tonganoxie Elementary School — thought to be the largest in the state — is ready to be the new home for early education.
The school, at 1180 S. East St., will have roughly 850 students in kindergarten through fifth grade with room to grow.
Voters approved a 2012 school bond issue, at a $27.2 million clip, to fund the new school southeast of Tonganoxie Middle School.
The new school, which boasts energy efficiency and ample natural light areas, is a two-story structure spanning 145,000 square feet.
Some features of the new school: a large gymnasium and secondary gymnasium that also functions as a cafeteria, instructional areas in the building but outside the normal classrooms and a stage.
As TES principal Ty Poell has noted, the former school along Shawnee Street was without a stage.
That school has long served Tonganoxie. The downtown structure was built in the early 1900s and underwent six additions as the town grew. A volunteer center and mobile units also have dotted the former school’s campus for years, another sign of the community outgrowing its building.
Organizers hoped to pass a bond issue a few years before the 2012 measure passed, but it was unsuccessful. That bond issue, if passed, would have included improvements at other school levels.
Though voters approved a 2004 vote for a new middle school on Washington Street and a substantial expansion at THS, voters weren’t ready for more modifications a few years later.
An open house earlier this summer attracted more than 500 visitors to the two-level school where each class level has a color representing different colors of the rainbow. The class levels also have murals with educational tidbits about Kansas’ various state symbols, such as the sunflower and the Western Meadowlark.
Classes will begin at 7:55 a.m. Thursday for students at Tonganoxie Elementary School and Tonganoxie Middle School. Students at Tonganoxie High School will start at 7:45 a.m.
Thursday will have a half-day of school, with the full day of class starting Friday.
Regular school times are 7:55 a.m.-3:10 p.m. at TES and TMS and 7:45 a.m.-3 p.m. at THS.
The half-day of classes at THS only are for freshmen. The full high school begins classes Friday.
For more information about district news, as well as informational videos regarding traffic procedures at TES and TMS, visit tong464.org.