Here’s how a potential $450 million bond issue could reshape the Wichita school district

The Wichita School Board heard Monday about a proposed $450 million bond issue that would support the complete rebuilding of eight schools over the next five to six years.

The district would reduce its overall footprint by 11 buildings, consolidating programs into new and existing facilities and closing four elementary schools, five special schools and two administration buildings.

The draft proposal, submitted by Ohio-based consultant Woolpert, comes three months after the school board voted to close permanently six schools as a cost-saving measure.

The board did not plan to take any binding action Monday evening, but intended to revisit the proposed Facilities Master Plan on June 27 after gathering community feedback on the recommendations.

Four elementary schools in north-central Wichita — L’ouverture Magnet, OK, Pleasant Valley and Woodland — would be closed under the new plan, although district officials say many students and teachers would be moved together to new buildings.

“It’s not something we can promise to every child and every community, but that would be the intent,” Superintendent Kelly Bielefeld said during a press briefing before the board meeting. “This is much more of a school merger than what we did in March, which was closing schools and then these kids just kind of scattered everywhere.”

The plan calls for the construction of eight new buildings to replace the existing schools of the same name. Coleman Magnet and Truesdell middle schools would be rebuilt, as would Black Magnet, McLean Magnet, Adams, Caldwell and Irving elementary schools, as well as the Little Early Childhood Center, which houses preschool and kindergarten programs.

Bielefeld said most schools would be rebuilt on the land they currently occupy, although that is not true in all cases. The new Little Early Childhood Center would be rebuilt on the site of the adjacent Chester Lewis Academic Learning Center, whose current programs would be moved elsewhere.

“There are a lot of dominoes in the plan,” Bielefeld said. “There’s a rebuild of this, then a mix of that, then putting other things in here, so it’s going to take us a few years to bring all of that to fruition.”

An expansion would be built on Cessna Elementary School to transform it into a primary and secondary school and Isely Magnet Elementary School, which was originally built to house a K-8 program, would also serve middle school students.

The existing Coleman Magnet Middle School would be reconverted to accommodate consolidated alternative programs, and Jardine Magnet, one of the recently closed middle schools, would be renovated to accommodate new students from the special schools currently being consolidated.

These alternative programs that would be consolidated include Dunlap, a life skills program for 18-21 year olds; Gateway, an alternative school for middle and high school students; and Bryant, Wells and Sowers, special day schools.

The plan calls for rebuilding a building on the East High campus that currently houses WSU Tech programs. The establishment rebuilt…

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