A three-year new construction and renovation project at North Kansas City High School, 620 E. 23rd Ave., is complete. The $65 million in improvements provide students with state-of-the-art educational spaces. The 90-plus year-old school now offers the latest technology for a growing student population.
To mark the celebration, there will be an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7.
The main theme throughout the project was preserving the past while preparing students for the future. With 165,321 square feet of new construction, NKCHS now has a modern performing arts center, cafeteria, gym, band rehearsal room, weight rooms, locker rooms and collaboration areas. The wooden floor from the former Fieldhouse was incorporated into trophy cases, shelving and benches.
While the facade of Old Main, which was built in 1926, remains the same, the inside underwent extensive renovations. It now houses the new library media center featuring five new skylights that flood the area with natural light. Two learning classrooms can be converted into one large area allowing teachers and students several collaborative learning options. Classroom doors from the original Old Main building grace the doorways of new classrooms in the renovated building.
Another big change for the school is becoming a closed campus. Students no longer walk to nearby buildings for class and do not leave the campus for lunch. Consolidating learning to a single location enhances school safety, while the new command center with numerous camera monitors adds an extra layer of security, states a release.
The expansion also prepares NKCHS to accommodate anticipated student growth. The school is capable of serving 1,650 students in this flourishing area, an increase of nearly 200 students.
The renovations were made possible by a $114 million bond referendum that was passed by voters in 2016. The bond also enabled North Kansas City Schools to build two new elementary schools and convert two existing sites into sixth-grade centers.