Several Blue Valley schools received some major upgrades over the summer.
Driving the news: At a Monday night Blue Valley School Board meeting, board members received an update on several completed district projects, which were funded by its 2020 bond referendum.
Below is a look into some of the major updates the district has undergone throughout those few months.
Gymnasium at Blue Valley Northwest
Blue Valley Northwest High School received a new 15,000-square-foot, 2,000-seat competition gymnasium over the summer.
- “It will house all of our student body,” said Jake Slobodnik, Blue Valley director of facilities and operations. “Their current gymnasium cannot house the entire student body.”
- It can also serve as a storm shelter for the school in case of emergencies. The gym meets federal standards for storm shelters.
Flexible learning spaces at several elementary schools
Seven Blue Valley elementary schools were also updated to have new open, adaptable classrooms that create flexible learning spaces for students.
- Flexible learning environments allow a classroom to be easily manipulated with elements like collapsible walls and movable tables.
- These are the schools who gained flexible learning environments:
- Leawood Elementary
- Valley Park Elementary
- Indian Valley Elementary
- Oak Hill Elementary
- Lakewood Elementary
- Liberty View Elementary
- Stilwell Elementary
- Two remaining elementary schools, Wolf Springs Elementary and Timber Creek Elementary, are scheduled for these same updates in 2023.
New security measures for several classroom doors
Over the summer, the district also renovated several of its classroom doors to have thumb-turn locks as an additional safety measure.
- Schools and other district building that received the new locks over the summer are:
- Harmony Middle
- Prairie Star Middle
- Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies
- Hilltop Learning Center
- The school board also voted to install a new crisis alert system into its school buildings, also covered by bond funds.
Five schools within the district also had their theaters improved over the summer.
- “The improvements were primarily to improve lighting and to improve the safety of all the rigging and the components that our students utilize everyday,” Slobodnik said.
- Below are the schools who had their theaters improved over the summer:
- Aubry Bend Middle
- Blue Valley Middle
- Oxford Middle School
- Blue Valley Northwest High
- Blue Valley Southwest High
Background about the 2020 bond referendum
In January 2020, Blue Valley voters endorsed a $186.8 million bond issue, approving the measure by a 74% to 26% margin.
- That spring, the district sold the first $125 million of bonds to fund two years of projects and equipment purchases.
- Then, in April, the school board issued the remaining bonds from its 2020 bond referendum.