Because of renovations, enrollment of middle school students will take place at the high school on Thursday, Aug. 4. When school starts later in the month, renovation of the technology room, office, commons and hallways at the middle school should be complete, according to the district website.
An addition with six new classrooms at the back of the middle school building should be complete later in the fall. The new space will allow the district to accommodate 150 more students.
District enrollment has increased over the past decade. This fall projected enrollment is about 1,700 students, and the district projects that number will increase to almost 3,000 students in another ten years. Until the new addition opens, the district only has room for 2,110 students.
Besides constructing new classrooms, the district is easing overcrowding by moving all sixth graders from elementary to middle school. Fourth and fifth grade students will attend one elementary school building while pre-Kindergarten through third grade students will attend the other.
Funding for the $3.1 million renovation and construction project comes from a combination of state aid and a private gift. An adjustment to Kansas’ Base State Aid Per Pupil for costs associated with beginning operation of new school facilities will pay for part of the expansion at Piper Middle School. A local retail developer also contributed to the project. The district is taking on no new debt.
Commercial and residential development in Piper has led to increasing enrollment, according to the district. Piper USD 203 is located in a former unincorporated town that is now part of Kansas City, Kan. Commercial development in the area includes the CommunityAmerica Ballpark where the Kansas City T-Bones play, the Kansas Speedway and the Legends at Village West.
Last November, Piper’s Board of Education voted on the middle school expansion, and construction started last spring.