Brookwood Elementary School in Leawood will be rebuilt for about $18 million, requiring students to relocate for a year.
The Shawnee Mission School Board on Monday unanimously approved the plan to demolish the old Brookwood building, which opened in 1960, and construct a new one on the same site at 3411 W. 103rd St.
During the 2017-2018 school year, those students will attend classes at Indian Creek Technical Center at 4401 W. 103rd St. in Overland Park before returning to the new school for the 2018-2019 school year.
Indian Creek is currently used to house some of the district’s administrative operations. By next fall, those operations will have moved to the district’s new administration building under construction at 8200 W. 71st St.
Superintendent Jim Hinson said Brookwood doesn’t meet federal disability access requirements, lacks its own full-service kitchen and doesn’t have a separate cafeteria and gymnasium — all features that will be included in the new building. He said it would also cost too much to simply expand and renovate the existing building.
“We’ve been looking at it since we started defining the buildings that we would rebuild based on need, and Brookwood was next on that list, if we had the money to do it,” he said.
While the new 73,000-square-foot school is expected to cost $18 million, the district also plans to spend $850,000 to remodel Indian Creek to prepare it for the Brookwood students. Money for the project will come from funds generated by bond sales.
Also Monday, the board unanimously approved the sale of $152 million in general obligation bonds, part of the $223 million in bonds approved by voters in January 2015.
Of that amount, $111 million will go to new projects while $41 million will go to refinance bonds that were sold in 2007 at a higher interest rate.
The board also voted unanimously to adopt a new policy for evaluating tax increment financing proposals.
Tax increment financing, or TIF, is an economic development tool where city governments agree to use future tax growth in a redeveloped area to help pay off some of the development costs. School boards and county governments are allowed by law to veto TIF proposals, given that they lose tax revenue.
The school board last fall considered vetoing a TIF involving the redevelopment of the Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club in Prairie Village, but ultimately agreed to let it go forward. However, board members made clear that their approval wasn’t guaranteed for future TIFs.
The new policy sets out a number of factors the district will consider on future TIFs, such as favoring projects that capture sales taxes rather than property taxes, working with developers to minimize the financial effects on the district and requiring additional scrutiny to developments involving residential areas because they are more likely to generate additional students without the revenue to pay for their education.
The board also considered a trio of potential new names and mascots of the elementary school being built in the Shawnee Mission West attendance area. The names include the Lenexa Hills Lions, the Lenexa Park Wolves and the Osage Park Bison.
The board is scheduled to pick a name and mascot for the school at its Oct. 24 meeting. Residents with additional suggested names can contact the board clerk at (913) 993-6401.
David Twiddy: firstname.lastname@example.org