KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A new school being built at 52nd Street and Leavenworth Road will replace a building where kids have attended classes for more than 100 years.
The new Welborn Elementary School represents a big investment in an area that's seen little progress.
Welborn has operated out of two separate buildings for years, and administrators say as a result it can feel like two separate schools, not one united community.
Construction of a new two-story school with 26 classrooms is already underway. The $18 million being spent to build it is one of KCK Schools' zero tax increase bond projects, which voters approved to upgrade every school in the KCK district.
Teachers are confident the new building will help kids become more successful learners.
"The teaching conditions will be a lot better," said Dayonne Taylor, a third grade teacher at Welborn. "I’ve been in some classrooms where there were pipes that were leaking, and there was always a bucket. I’ve been in classrooms where it’s been really cold because the heat has not been working."
The new school is being built next to the existing school buildings. Once it opens in 2019, the old buildings will be torn down to make way for green space, a playground and parking.
There's been so little investment in the neighborhood, some parents have told the principal they're having a hard time believing it's actually happening.
The new school will house 550 students and include enhanced safety and security measures necessary in today's world.