The Harbinger Online

Building a New Future

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids classified as 1 to 3 years old are some of the hottest sellers and best deals, according to a new study by used car aggregator, iSeeCars.com. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus

The SMSD Board of Education confirmed the installation of electric car chargers for the new Center of Academic Achievement building on Aug. 15. The 130,000 sq. ft. multipurpose center is scheduled to open in spring of 2017 where the former Antioch Middle School was located.

The addition of the electric car chargers is a modern approach to encourage eco-friendly transportation according to Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kenny Southwick.

KCP&L made a deal with the Shawnee Mission School District to provide the chargers for free under a contract, SMSD superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson said at the board meeting. For the first two years, the District will allow staff and students to use the charging facility to aide the district’s eco-friendly efforts.

Along with its charging capabilities, the center combines three separate administrative buildings into one. The extended modern space will help with communication between districts and schools according to Southwick.

Taking the place of the Broadmoor Technical Center, the center will also serve as collaborative space for signature programs including Culinary Arts, Biotechnology, Project Lead the Way, Engineering and Medical Health Sciences.

Although the building does not directly affect the teachers and administration at East, it is comforting to the school staff that signature program students will be going to one central location for their classes and being bussed back from one facility rather than many separate ones, according to Assistant Principal Britt Haney.

“I am excited because it will also be a beautiful space we can be very proud of for the district activities,” Haney said. “And I’m sure we will be using it for a number of different meetings in a bistro rather than just an elementary cafeteria. It’s just a nice central location for everything.”

The project is designed and built by ACI Boland and funded by SMSD Capital Outlay. This means the funds for the building are strictly for items and facilities, unable to be transferred to supporting programs and teacher wages according to Southwick. Although they have stayed much within the budget, they are mainly using environmentally beneficial materials.

ACI Boland has a modern design for the building with an eco-friendly theme for futuristic appeal. The majority of materials in the center are made out of recycled items. There will be an abundance of windows around the building for natural light to use less energy, along with an urban farming area and a rain garden, which will both be run by students.

“Although there’s some additional cost to the eco-friendliness of the building upfront, in the long run we will be saving money on upkeep and energy because of features, like it is rich with natural light,” Southwick said.

The birth of the new facilities and forward “thinking green” will benefit all different programs and make for stronger space for communication within administration.

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