Pawnee Elementary hosts farewell for old school building

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 10:29 PM CST
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) - Pawnee Elementary hosted a farewell for its old school building on Thursday. The building is scheduled to be demolished so construction of the new school building can be completed.

The construction project is part of a $264 million bond for the Shawnee Mission School District. The bond passed in 2021 with nearly 70% of the vote.

“The building has literally been here since the 1960s and it has not changed,” said former student and teacher at Pawnee Elementary, Niki Neal. “The outside has not changed at all.”

On Thursday, the school said goodbye to its original school building with an event from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Pawnee Elementary’s people -- past and present -- showed up to pay their respects.

“It has been so unreal,” said Principal Kari Otero. “So many people coming in. Lots of emotion, excitement. So much sadness, but also a lot of memories.”

“There’s a lot of memories here since I was here a long time,” said former school nurse Nadine Neal, who was at the school from 1967-1989. “A lot of memories I have even forgot.”

Now, the school and its students can prepare to make new memories when their new school building opens in the fall.

“We are all so excited,” said Otero. “So excited for the space, and the huge hallways and collaboration space. It’s going to be so cool.”

“It’s great to see it revitalized,” said Neal. “The neighborhood is revitalized, and people are supporting and updated building. It’s needed.”

The students from Pawnee Elementary will finish the school year at Indian Creek Junior High. The new Pawnee Elementary building is expected to open in the fall of 2023.

If you would like to see pictures of the school’s building process, you can find them by clicking here.