Attorneys for Shawnee Public Schools are working on a contract to purchase 15 acres of land for a new elementary school site in north Shawnee.

Attorneys for Shawnee Public Schools are working on a contract to purchase 15 acres of land for a new elementary school site in north Shawnee.

The district plans to build a fifth elementary school for Shawnee as part of a $32 million bond issue passed by voters in 2016.

The school board, during an executive session at this week's meeting, authorized legal counsel to work on a contract with the Commissioners of the Land Office to purchase the piece of land on 45th Street, just west of Kickapoo Street.

Back in July, the board first began talking with CLO, with Superintendent Dr. April Grace saying the process would take some time to get started.

If the acquisition can be worked out, Shawnee’s new elementary school would be constructed on that land, with construction likely beginning in 2020.

Many other projects around the district have been done as a result of the bond issue, including secure entrances at elementary schools, safe rooms and other projects.

The renovation and an added safe room at Shawnee High School’s Stucker facility should be completed in 2019; as well as new science classrooms and counselor area at SHS and an ADA seating area at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Beginning in 2019, construction projects will include SHS band and music rooms; enhancements to the SHS library media center/learning commons; enhancements to the SHS cafeteria and dining areas; SHS baseball field ticket booth, concession area, restrooms and ADA enhancements; SHS softball dugout enhancements and SHS tennis facility upgrade.

In other school board news, Jefferson Elementary Principal EJ Mynhier spoke to the board about the success Jefferson students are having in their STEM and robotics programs.

Members of the robotics team showcased the space project they created for the Junior First Lego League competition at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

The team members who presented at the board meeting are Anthony Newsom, Jon Payne, Kaitlyn McElfresh, Rayden Browning, Rylee Jolley and Alyanna Vanderputten.