There was a lot to see for students returning to Basehor Elementary School on the first day of school. With nearly 3,000 square feet of new classrooms added to the west end of the building, students were anxious to see what their school looked like.

“The students and staff of Basehor Elementary are so excited to begin a new school year in our newly remodeled building,” said Tiffany Lynch, BES principal. “A big thank you to the community and our district for supporting the updates to the safety and security of the building, as well as the renovations and additional classrooms.”

The construction included a new entrance and façade with a secure entry through the school office. The new office area was converted by utilizing one of the old kindergarten rooms on the south side of the building. That new area includes the principal’s office, reception area and counselor’s office.  

Other construction projects within the building include renovations to 12 classrooms with new ceilings, lights, cabinets and flooring. More than 5,000 square feet of classrooms received upgrades.

Additionally, two sets of restrooms were renovated and a new main heating system for the school was added. Cooling for about one-third of the building is also new.  

New signage, flag pole and bus loop will be added this fall.

A tornado shelter has been built for the school. In light of the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma, tornado that killed 24 people and ripped through two elementary schools, this enhancement was one that the school district and Basehor residents wanted to include in the renovations of BES.

“We are excited about the remodel and storm shelter addition to Basehor Elementary School,” said USD 458 School Superintendent David Howard. “The safety and security of our students is and remains a top priority for the board of education and administrators. Having a safe place for children and staff in case of a tornado and increasing the student capacity of the building is a win/win for the Basehor-Linwood School District as well as our community.”

The total cost of the construction and upgrades to BES was around $3.2 million.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com