School board approves West High bond project that includes new gym, storm shelters

06/25/2012 5:00 AM

06/25/2012 7:48 PM

West High School in Wichita will get a $12.7 million addition and renovation, including a new gym, swimming pool, music suite and modern culinary-arts lab.

Wichita school board members on Monday approved the contract with National Contractors Inc. for the West High project, one of the largest in the 2008 bond issue plan.

West was built in 1959 and expanded in 1974 and again in 2005. The new project is expected to be complete in April 2014.

The planned addition includes a 2,400-seat gym with walking track, swimming pool, locker rooms, wrestling room, music rooms and remodeled classrooms. The school also will get storm shelters and a larger, modern culinary-arts lab for its family and consumer sciences program.

Exterior athletic facilities at West, including new tennis courts and an all-weather turf football field and track, were completed under separate contracts and schedules as part of the bond issue.

Board member Lanora Nolan thanked designers for designing a new parking lot around several mature trees.

“I think (the design) is going to do a masterful job” of keeping the trees intact, Nolan said, which “really does give that historical perspective.”

More than a year ago, district officials put many of the projects in the district’s $370 million bond issue on hold while they dealt with budget cuts and re-evaluated priorities and spending.

Three Wichita high schools — Southeast, Northwest and Sowers Alternative — are still awaiting bond work proposed in the 2008 bond issue.

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