Construction gets underway for one-of-a-kind school in Lee’s Summit

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Construction is expected to begin Thursday on a one-of-a-kind school in Lee’s Summit.

For the past four years, Innovation Campus students have taken classes out of an aging, cramped and repurposed building, but thanks to a $40-million no-tax-increase bond passed by voters last year, the unique program will soon have a new place to call home.

The new Summit Technology Academy/Missouri Innovation Campus will be built near Chipman and Ward Roads – just east of 50-Highway.

It’s a unique partnership between the school district, the University of Central Missouri and Metropolitan Community College, and several local businesses.

High school juniors in the program take college courses in areas of science, math, engineering and technology. They earn their associates degree by high school graduation and then finish their college education at either UCM or MCC. At the same time, they are working at a local engineering or technology firm, giving them the inside track of securing a job after they graduate college.

The first students to ever go through this unique program are graduating in May.

Once built, the new building will have more space and the latest technology to help better prepare students to succeed after graduation.

The official ground breaking is expected to take place Thursday afternoon, and Governor Jay Nixon will be present.

The program hopes to be in the new building by August 2017.

Here's what it is expected to look like once it is complete:

Courtesy: Lee's Summit R-7 School District

Courtesy: Lee's Summit R-7 School District

Courtesy: Lee's Summit R-7 School District

Courtesy: Lee's Summit R-7 School District