Monday, October 17, 2011

Signature Schools Groundbreaking


Topeka Public Schools broke ground for two construction projects today that will create the first PreK-8 Signature Schools in Topeka. The construction will connect Ross Elementary School (1400 SE 34th) with Eisenhower Middle School (3305 SE Minnesota) and State Street Elementary School (500 NE Sumner) with Chase Middle School (2250 NE State). All four schools are located on the east side of the city.

The two construction projects, totaling $11.5 million, will be among the largest in Topeka and Shawnee County this year. Local companies will do the work which will create 180 jobs. The projects are expected to be finished in time for the beginning of school in August 2012.

The signature schools will provide many opportunities for students that they have not had before. The signature for Ross-Eisenhower will be developed around music, including band, orchestra and vocal. Three new music rooms will be added at Ross along with 23 other classrooms.

The signature for State Street-Chase will be developed around the performing arts. State Street already has a beautiful stage/auditorium. A new performing arts, black box theater, will be added to State Street providing ample opportunities for students to get involved in the performing arts. Twelve classrooms will be added to State Street.
The new additions to the schools will allow for expanded pre-school and make available more classroom space for the growing pre-k programs in Topeka Public Schools.

“I think history will judge this historic commitment that will greatly benefit the students of Topeka Public Schools. From expanded opportunities for early childhood to signature schools that highlight music and the performing arts. Students will have opportunities they’ve never had before,” said Board of Education President Patrick Woods.