PITTSBURG — One of USD250’s district largest projects is set to begin this month.

The $17 million project at Pittsburg High School is the largest approved in last year’s bond issue, USD 250 Superintendent Destry Brown said.

“When we took bids everyone held their breath and we came in on budget,” he said.

Brown said the $31 million bond issue is the largest USD 250 has seen approved, and the high school’s projects take take up the majority of it.  

On Monday, the school broke ground to celebrate the beginning of the project. Changes will begin by the end of April and are expected to be complete by August 2019.

Included in the project is a new kitchen and cafeteria area — which will serve as a storm shelter —  new offices, entrance and a band room. Some rooms, such as the journalism and yearbook classroom will be moved to the other side of the building and the library/media room will also undergo renovations. The changes are to make the school more “kid friendly,” Brown said.

“These projects will add additional space, we are full and at capacity,” he said.

Addy Campbell, a sophomore at PHS, said the new additions have been “big talk” in music class.

“I’m so excited for that,” she said.

Another sophomore, Kylie Smith, said she is most excited for the new kitchen and lunchroom area.

“We can spend more time with friends with the bigger lunch room,” she said.

USD 250 Superintendent said students will no longer have to eat in the commons area.

PHS junior and yearbook student Brett Wiemers agreed with Smith.

In addition to the excitement of the new cafeteria, Wiemers said, the yearbook staff are excited about the larger space for their classroom.

“We’ve talked about the new classrooms,” he said. “Everyone is looking forward to the new location and bigger room.”

The renovations and additions are an exciting endeavor which could help foster student ownership, PHS Principal Phil Bressler.

“It’s exciting anytime when we get an opportunity to improve the schools, whether culturally or changes to the building,” Bressler said.

He said the new shelter will give the community peace of mind and the new collaboration rooms will give teachers and students more options for group based activities.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.