Weather finally cooperates on school grand opening

Students missed the first bell at the brand-new Basehor Intermediate School, but that’s because the first few days they were supposed to be there, snow canceled school.

Weather hasn’t been kind to the newest school in the Basehor-Linwood school district, designed for grades 3 through 5.

“We had a really wet spring that slowed construction down and then of course, the winter that we’ve had in 2010 slowed some of the finishing touches up,” Superintendent David Howard said.

But the sun shone down Sunday afternoon for the dedication of the intermediate building.

State Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, was on hand to commend the community for passing a $40 million school bond a few years ago.

“They (voters) are making a long-term, sustained commitment to public education by having this wonderful facility in their district,” Holland said. “It’s going to generate returns and rewards for them for years to come.”

Each grade has its own wing, all of which are color-coded. There are also flexible learning areas so different classrooms can come together to learn. The gym doubles as a storm shelter, and natural light floods the open common areas.

“We’ve just had really, really good feedback so far,” Howard said.

The transition was an easy one. Students hopped on a bus at Basehor Elementary and took the short drive to their new digs in January after winter break and a few snow days.

But there’s still a bond between the K-2 school and the new 3-5 school. “We are one building in two locations,” said Teri Boyd, the intermediate school principal.

The growth in the Basehor-Linwood school district is what initially started talk of making room for the new students and splitting the elementary school in half.

Both the K-2 and the 3-5 buildings house about 200 students, but with the new school, the administrators planned for room to grow.

“That really gives us the expansion of about 400 more students before we’d have to look at facilities down the road,” Howard said.

Holland said he was pleased to be a part of the ribbon-cutting celebration, especially since it deals with public education.

“It’s wonderful seeing families and school children so excited about being in a wonderful facility and actually looking forward to learning,” Holland said.