Tonganoxie USD 464 signals learning center construction with groundbreaking

Tonganoxie school board members join with USD 464 and Tonganoxie High school administrators in turning over dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new THS Academic Center on Wednesday, Oct. 7, on the THS campus. Enlarge photo

October 14, 2020

The Tonganoxie High campus is really buzzing these days with the sounds of construction.

Tonganoxie USD 464 officials, community members and the THS building expansion team were on hand for a groundbreaking Wednesday, Oct. 7, where the new THS Learning Center will stand in the future.

School district Superintendent Loren Feldkamp led the ceremony as members of the Tongie Strong building committee, THS administrators, Assistant Superintendent Tonya Phillips, school board members and other community members looked on.

The two-story learning center is expected to start taking shape with footings and foundations scheduled to be placed starting next week. That work is expected to start Oct. 22. Other notable construction dates coming up are the start of putting in structural steel at the learning center Feb. 5, 2021.

Work on the north parking lot then is expected to start a few months later in late May.

The learning center is expected to be ready in the middle of winter break next December.

Renovation work on the west campus also is slated to start late next December and then footings and foundations for the fitness and wellness area are to start in late March 2022. Work on the east and south sites of the campus are expected to start in May 2022.

District offices will relocate to the west campus in June 2022.

Voters passed a $51.4 million bond issue to fund the project in September 2019. The project adds the two-story learning center to the campus and renovates the west campus for district offices and Tonganoxie Recreation Commission space.

The current high school to the east of the current east gymnasium will come down to make room for a new main gymnasium and additional space surrounding it.

The school board met after the groundbreaking for a work session at the Chieftain Room on the THS campus after the ceremony to discuss potential capital outlay projects if the THS project costs come in under the $51.4 million.

The board will be meeting again for a special meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Tonganoxie Elementary School library. Dustin Avery with Piper Sandleer will meet with the board at that meeting to present information on future bond finance management.

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