Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

The final design and budget for the new Patton Junior High School were approved by the Unified School District 207 board during the monthly meeting Feb. 24 in the Eisenhower Elementary School library.

This artist rendering of the new Patton Junior High School, courtesy of Hollis + Miller Architects, shows the school on the site of the former MacArthur Elementary School on Biddle Boulevard. The final design and budget for the new Patton Junior High School were approved by the Unified School District 207 board during the monthly meeting Feb. 24 in the Eisenhower Elementary School library. Artist rendering courtesy of Hollis + Miller Architects

Representatives from Hollis + Miller Architects and Titan Construction LLC briefed board members in-depth on the layout and designs for the new Patton as well as the costs associated with it during a special board meeting Feb. 13 at the USD 207 board office. A shorter briefing was given at the regular meeting.

The exterior design will include a brick and limestone blend, giving it a connection to other architecture on post, said Brian Ashworth, Hollis + Miller senior architect. A second floor will also be added to the structure for ninth-grade students.

Interior designs will include the story of Gen. George Patton, Kansas, Fort Leavenworth and the Army represented throughout the school, said Heather Merck, Hollis + Miller interior designer.

To accomplish the design, a majority of the existing former MacArthur Elementary School structure will be demolished. One area that will be renovated from the existing area is the auditorium, which will be updated to match the intended design of the school, Merck said.

This artist rendering of the new Patton Junior High School, courtesy of Hollis + Miller Architects, shows the school on the site of the former MacArthur Elementary School on Biddle Boulevard. The final design and budget for the new Patton Junior High School were approved by the Unified School District 207 board during the monthly meeting Feb. 24 in the Eisenhower Elementary School library. Artist rendering courtesy of Hollis + Miller Architects

For the full design plan, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.

Following the briefings from Hollis + Miller, Mike Burson, Titan Construction senior project manager, briefed the board on the overall cost of building the new Patton. The board approved an overall cost not to exceed $56 million.

With the design and costs approved, demolition and construction are set to begin April 1.

School calendar
During the meeting, the board approved the final school calendar for the 2020-21 schoolyear.

Holiday closures include Sept. 7 for Labor Day, Oct. 12 for Columbus Day, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, Nov. 25-27 for Thanksgiving, Dec. 21 through Jan. 5 for winter break, Jan. 18 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, March 15-19 for spring break and April 2 for Easter. Additionally, there will be no school Sept. 4, Oct. 9, Jan. 15 or Feb. 12 for staff professional development days.

Early release Fridays are the first and third Friday of every month beginning Sept. 19 unless the Friday already falls on a no-school day.

Half days are scheduled for Dec. 18, March 12, May 21 and May 27. There will be no pre-kindergarten those days.

For the complete schedule, visit usd207.org.

Enrollment for the 2020-21 schoolyear is July 28-29.

Pre-kindergarten transportation Beginning the 2020-21 schoolyear, USD 207 will no longer provide transportation to and from the Child Development Centers for pre-kindergarten students enrolled in the CDC childcare program.

In the past, the district has provided up to three buses to transport a maximum of 15 students, separated into groups of two to three students at a time, between all three elementary schools during the morning and afternoon pre-kindergarten sessions. This has added up to $10,000 annually in route fees alone, said Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools. That doesn’t include fuel, bus maintenance and other associated costs.

While these families can still enroll in the USD 207 pre-kindergarten program, parents will be responsible for all transportation to and from the CDC.

“For dual working families or dual military or single parents who won’t have the opportunity to leave work to pick up their pre-K (student) to take them, they still have pre-K options through the CDC … called Strong Beginnings,” Mispagel said. “We’re not disallowing the pre-K option. They will just not have access to ours.”

Enrollment for the USD 207 pre-kindergarten program will be open in March.

Accreditation visit
The Kansas Education Systems Accreditation outside visitation team will visit the district March 9 for a progress update as USD 207 continues year three of the five-year accreditation cycle.

SuAnn Grant, deputy superintendent, said the district has prepared for the visit by providing professional development time for the different schools to work together to continue goals and action plans, three after-school sessions for certified staff to identify and establish goals for each grade level, and conducted meetings throughout the year with KESA building representatives to share new information given by Kansas and to continue work on next steps.

Principal’s report
During the meeting, Cindy Wepking, Eisenhower principal, with the help of program representatives, provided an update on the different programs at Eisenhower including the school’s progress with the FOUR Dots initiative, Site Council and Leader in Me.

International Day The fifth annual USD 207 International Day is 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. May 1 in the Patton Junior High School gymnasium. Because of early release Friday, fifth- and sixth-grades will have a combined visit. Participating countries are to be announced.

All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.

The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. March 30 at Bradley Elementary School.

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