Road construction will impact traffic near Horace Mann Elementary School

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Construction near Horace Mann Elementary School will change the course of traffic this year.

Horace Mann Elementary School students will return for the 2021-2022 school year Thursday, Aug. 12, with a road construction and improvement project taking place near the building.

According to SPS Public Information Officer Cherity Pennington, road construction is taking place at Draper Avenue and Whittaker Street.

She said the ongoing road project will not change the function of the school buses, however, daily drop off and pick up of students will look different as parents will need to pick up and drop off their students on 11th Street.

In addition, Horace Mann is requesting that parents drive one-way only going west on 11th Street because of the road project.

The map of a portion of Shawnee noting the project area at and around Whittaker and Draper streets.

"Lots of Horace Mann staff will be outside helping direct traffic," Pennington said.

Because of the road project, staff and educators at Horace Mann will also need to park on the south side of the school.

The major road rehabilitation project involves Whittaker Street and a portion of Draper Street, which are completely being torn out and redone.

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The contract for the Whittaker Street Rehabilitation Project was awarded during a June Shawnee city commission meeting.

Work is underway on Draper Street near Horace Mann Elementary.

At $565,405, Wynn Construction Co. was the lowest estimate, with City Engineer Seth Barkhimer given the OK by the commission to move forward with the project.

Last fall, Holloway, Updike and Bellen, Inc. began engineering services for the project along Whittaker Street between Center and just a bit east of Draper (a little more than a block), as well as a portion of Draper that stretches north to Highland.

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Horace Mann Elementary will be affected by construction at Draper and Whittaker.

The road project will include new waterlines, new curbs and handicap ramps, with drainage problems for that area also being addressed with the improvements.

Since the project area includes the intersection where Horace Mann Elementary sits, the city tried to plan for most of the construction to take place over the summer, but it is reported to be a 100-day project so work is ongoing.

Watch for updates.