Union Schools Breaks Ground On 14th Elementary School

Tuesday, July 12th 2016, 2:11 pm
By: News On 6

Union Public Schools broke ground on its 14th elementary school Monday morning. District representatives say by the time all three building phases are done, the school will be large enough to house two schools' worth of students.

The groundbreaking was held at 31st and Garnett where open space will be transformed using the $15 million voters approved back in February. Right now many schools are bursting at the seams, but especially elementary schools.

Union School Board president, Heather McAdams said, "We already have these kiddos in a super cramped space. So, this is our hope, that we can spread them out a bit and not have 650 kids in a building built for 550."

Staff, parents and students, like Cydney Marabel, collaborated to design the new school.

"It was nervous at first, but when I started putting in ideas I realized it wasn't as nervous as I thought it was going to be," Marabel said.

She's going to the seventh grade, so she won't get to enjoy the new two-story school, but she's OK with that.

"The kids younger than me are going to have a good school, and I wanted to be a part of making the school good," she said.

People who showed up for Tuesday's groundbreaking got a chance to see some of the renderings of the school.

7/7/2016 Related Story: TPS Holds Hiring Event To Fill 31 Vacancies

The new elementary school is going to be built in three phases. The first phase of building is expected to be completed by August of 2017. 

The phase will include construction of access roads, parking lots utilities and about half of the building. Initially the school will have enough space to house 500 students, but at the end of three years it'll be big enough to hold 1,000.

District leaders say despite education funding cuts the school must expand and hope for the best.

"The money is a concern. If we continue to have cuts like we've had, it's going to be a problem," McAdams said. "We have enough rooms, but not enough teachers to teach the kids so it's definite a concern - but we are trying to stay hopeful."

The third phase of building is expected to be finished by 2019.

Union Public Schools Elementary