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'It takes your breath away': Blue Springs High School construction nearly complete to welcome freshman class

Blue Springs High School construction nearly complete for new freshman class
Posted at 6:54 AM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 08:28:24-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — When students return to Blue Springs High School, they will have new halls to wander.

For nearly 25 years, Blue Springs freshman classes have coexisted at the Freshman Center. Since 2019, the district has been upgrading both high schools to accommodate freshman students. Blue Springs High School’s construction will be complete for the upcoming school year.

“When they were at the freshman campus itself, it was a little bit limited because of the number of teachers we had there. Now all of our current course offerings will be open to that freshman class,” Principal Tom Alderman said. “We also will be allowed to integrate them into some of our clubs, our programs and some different opportunities we have here at Blue Springs High School that they didn't have there, as well as some of the socialization that didn't happen over there.”

The new ’freshman’ wing at the high school will have 34 classrooms, 80,000 square feet total. Along with the freshman addition, the school built a new library, upgraded the performing arts department, and built ‘Wildcat Way’ to connect the high school parking lot to the former freshman center.

The now-former Freshman Center will be used as the Career Innovation Center. It will house specialized career-focused programs.

English teacher Ashley Rowland has a classroom in the new wing. She returned last week to start decorating and organizing.

“Oh my gosh, it takes your breath away. Right? I mean, you think about how many high schools there are in the metro and to be able to be one of the first people to be in a brand new space,” Rowland said.

On top of a new classroom, she will be teaching some freshmen students. That means she has had to adjust her planning to focus more on communication and collaboration.

“So as freshmen come in from middle school, that's a huge part of their learning curve, right? They're coming in, they're kind of coming into this brand new space and they have to learn how to sort of be adults in this space,” Rowland said. “Having a space where they can do these interactions with other individuals, get more comfortable with who they are interacting, having these conversations, sharing their own opinions, so that will sort of change their ability to interact in here.”

The teachers’ first day back was Aug. 15. Students return to a completed high school on Aug. 22.

The construction of the high school, among other projects, was funded by a $107 million bond issue voted on in 2021.