The Prairie Village Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a two-story, 7,600-square-foot addition to Shawnee Mission East.
Why is this important: The addition will add a multipurpose learning space, two classrooms, storage space and outdoor learning space to SM East, according to city documents.
The addition will be located in the courtyard on the north side of the high school, between two wings of the building, facing 75th Street.
The new structure added will only be partially visible from the street due to the slope of the land.
The details: Renderings of the proposed addition show a blue paneled wall adjacent to a large glass facade that overlooks an interior atrium.
The large window will include a faint silhouette of a Lancer, the school’s mascot.
Outside there will be a terrace of steps with native gardens, according to the plan.
Dwayne Cash, an architect representing the Shawnee Mission School District, told the commission on Tuesday that the terrace is designed to be a gathering space.
Also, since four trees are down, the district intends to replant a total of eight trees.
Accessibility issues: Commissioner Nancy Wallerstein expressed concern about the accessibility of the outdoor space.
Wallerstein confirmed to Cash that students or staff in wheelchairs who are at the top of the steps outside should walk through the building to get to the bottom of the steps outside.
Cash said the upper outdoor space and lower outdoor space are individually accessible, and there are similar concerns inside the school.
Wheelchair users who want to get from the ground floor to the second floor must take an elevator because the ramps are not ADA accessible, he said.
Wallerstein said she understands that, but said she’s worried it won’t provide ADA accessibility on new builds.
Cash replied that a consultant ensures the addition is built according to federal law.
“I caution you, because we have great defenders in Prairie Village who will look into this, I’m sure,” Wallerstein said.