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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — One of five new schools in the Shawnee Mission School District opened its doors for the first time Thursday.

John Diemer Elementary is a new 74,000 square foot building that stands near West 97th Street and Lamar Avenue in Overland Park.

The new school is a two-story building that features flexible learning spaces for student collaboration, maker labs, outdoor classrooms, and was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Two fenced-in play areas are now near the school.

School parking is no longer on Lamar Avenue. Instead, there are now two dozen parking spots to the west of the building, three dozen spots on the south side, and 12 parking spots on the east side of the school.

Teachers and students have been in temporary classrooms for the past 18 months while crews completed the new school.

“This is the end of a lot of work. They were teaching, and packing, and moving and now we’re home. It just feels like a homecoming for teachers and the whole staff, and for the community really,” Britt Pumphrey, principal, said.

John Diemer is one of five elementary schools being rebuilt as part of a $264 million bond issue approved by voters in January 2021.