Work on new Dodge school to start

Construction on a new building for Dodge Literacy Magnet Elementary School is expected to start in May and be complete by August 2011.

The Wichita school board approved on Monday a $8.1 million contract with Simpson and Associates.

District leaders said the contract is 15 percent below the budgeted amount for the school that voters approved in 2008, when they approved a $370 million bond issue.

The new 64,595-square-foot west-side school will include two music rooms, an art room, computer lab and a multipurpose room that is also a FEMA storm shelter.

The new pre-K through fifth-grade school is designed similarly to the new Earhart Environmental Magnet Elementary School building that opened in 2008.

The new Dodge building will be next to the current building, which is at 4801 W. Second St. Once the new Dodge building is complete, the existing building will be demolished.

Bond planners said Dodge received few improvements in the 2000 bond issue because at the time it was operated by the Edison Project, a for-profit company.