On Thursday, Shawnee Public Schools celebrated the official purchase of 15 acres of land that will be home to a new Shawnee Elementary School.

On Thursday, Shawnee Public Schools celebrated the official purchase of 15 acres of land that will be home to a new Shawnee Elementary School.

Superintendent Dr. April Grace, announcing the real estate closing via social media, said after two and half years of discussions and work with the Commissioners of the Land Office, the deal is finalized.

The district's legal counsel has been working on a contract with CLO for the purchase of a tract of land on 45th Street, just west of Kickapoo Street.

That's where Shawnee plans to build what will be the district's fifth elementary school. The new school is a part of a $32 million Shawnee bond issue that was passed by voters in 2016.

Now that the sale is finalized, Grace said the district's next step will be to hire a construction management company and architect to begin the design phase of the new school.

Since talks began, the district has hoped construction would begin in 2020.

The district reports they plan to put a sign on the property soon marking it as the future home of Shawnee's newest school.

The school is a part of the bond issue that has made other improvements at area school sites, 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 this year, as well as new science classrooms and counselor area at SHS and an ADA seating area at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Other construction projects this year 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.

Watch for updates.