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Ground breaks today on Wichita's Ortiz Elementary

Crews are scheduled to break ground today on Wichita's newest school — the $7.6 million Ortiz Elementary School at 33rd North and Arkansas.

It is the first new school to be funded by a $370 million bond issue that voters approved in 2008. The district will mark the start of construction with a 10:30 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony at the site.

The 62,000-square-foot school is designed to help relieve overcrowding at nearby Cloud Elementary. It will accommodate 450 students from kindergarten through fifth grade and will have a computer lab, art room, two music rooms and a multipurpose room designed as a FEMA storm shelter.

Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture designed the project. Coonrod and Associates Construction Co. is the contractor.

The school is slated to open in the fall of 2012.

It is named for the late Martin Ortiz, a North High School graduate and nationally recognized leader in Latino education. Members of Ortiz's family are expected to attend today's groundbreaking.

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