Virus not slowing progress on ambitious early education center for NKC School District

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GLADSTONE, Mo. — Construction crews are rapidly transforming what used to be a Hobby Lobby in the Northland into a gleaming, new early education center for the North Kansas City School District.

“What you see here will be completely transformed in a short time so that every student has a magical experience,” said Katie Lawson, director of the early education center.

Crews have been busy for months at the former Hobby Lobby and Price Chopper at N. 64th Street and Antioch in Gladstone.

The new center is scheduled to welcome special education students in January 2020, and hundreds more pre-K students will enroll in August 2021. All told, the facility will accommodate more than 900 students.

“We want to make sure that we’re providing students the opportunity to really have the most well-rounded experience,” Lawson said. “So they have that social, the emotional and some of those pre academic skills.”

The architects are making every effort to design the space through the eyes of a child. 

“Once you journey through the reception and into the facility, it’s about that ‘wow moment’, or as I call it, the Instagram moment,” said Ian Kilpatrick with the DLR Group. “Where a kid can take their picture on their first day in a sailboat, and it’s the exciting moment of entering their learning environment.”

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