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Constructing the Future

Construction under way on Middle School 2
This will be what the new middle school building will look like from a bird’s-eye view when it is completely finished with construction.

The construction for the new middle school building has begun! The MCP Group has been working on building a new middle school to separate the 7 elementary schools of our district into two different middle school buildings for the 2025-26 school year. WRMS is being divided to help relieve the overwhelming capacity issues among the Auburn-Washburn district. 

Mike Maas, the project manager of the MCP Group, happily reports the progress on the building thus far: “We feel very good about progress to date on the new middle school. Overall, we believe we are ahead of schedule for the entire project and hope to deliver the project early if all goes well.” Maas notes that there could be potential concerns with getting power to the site. “We have not encountered any unexpected challenges. The lead times on electrical components are our biggest concern as they mean we won’t have permanent power in the building until next spring, but we have known that for some time and are making contingency plans to be able to continue working.”

Dr. McWilliams, Auburn-Washburn’s superintendent, shares the challenges of planning ahead. “It took nearly a year to design Middle School 2. The first challenge was including as much of the feedback received as possible in the design of the school.” McWilliams shared that another challenge was planning far enough in advance to avoid potential supply chain issues. “Now that construction has been taking place since July 2023, the final challenge is sticking tight to the timeline.” McWilliams also shared that he school has a firm end date, and it will open for the 2025-26 school year. McWilliams also reported what the new middle school will do for our district. “It means that we will no longer have the largest middle school in Kansas […] by transitioning sixth grade students to the middle level, it means students will have the opportunity to learn and grow at the middle level for three years instead of only two years. It means each elementary school will have more space to better meet the needs of Pre-K to fifth grade students.”

Richard Jones, USD 437 Director of Operations, shared his thoughts on planning challenges. “Coordinating the utilities with the different providers and getting approvals for the site work and road work through the City of Topeka and Shawnee County have been some of the milestones that we have had to work through.” While those issues have mostly been resolved, there are others involving electrical and mechanical equipment.  “We ordered those items early because we knew that they could be a challenge. Currently they are supposed to be here in time and we are moving forward with all plans.”

For more information on the construction or information about the new school, visit the Auburn-Washburn website and click HERE and scroll down to “Middle School 2” to view the updates, photos, and live feed on construction.  Then, you can watch the live feed of construction, images, or the timeline of information about MS2.

More photos will be coming soon!

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