Broken Arrow Schools Breaks Ground On Massive Building Plan As City Grows

Thursday, June 14th 2012, 2:02 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Broken Arrow Public Schools kicked off a new phase of a $90 million dollar construction plan Thursday morning.

The project sites are on 111th Street between Aspen and Olive and on 61st Street between Lynn Lane and County Line. They are just two of 26 projects underway this summer in the school district.

One of Thursday's groundbreaking ceremonies was for a new Elementary and Pre-Kindergarten center that will replace the old Indian Springs - a school composed mainly of portable buildings.

For first grade teacher, Kayce Westman, it's going to be a welcome change.

"When you work in a portable, you have to worry about the weather and open campus, and people coming and knocking on the door," Westman said. "And when you send the kids out in inclement weather, they come back wet."

Some elementary students helped lift the shovels during the groundbreaking. And in a year, for the first time, they'll be in classrooms that are under one roof.

"There's not much to clear off," said Broken Arrow Principal, Larry Smith. "It's 80 acres, it's not close to the river, which is good for safety and it's going to be a great environment for our kids to learn"

It's not every day a superintendent gets to break ground on four buildings on two sites, but that's what happened in Broken Arrow Thursday morning.

On the North side of the city, near the high school, a second Elementary and Pre-K center will open, too.

Jarod Mendenhall, Broken Arrow Superintendent, said that while these huge projects will bring up the standards of the buildings, it's not going to add much capacity because the new buildings are replacing ones that are outdated.

"We've expanded the size of the buildings a little bit, added a classroom or two, but it doesn't give us much room for growth," Mendenhall said.