By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
Kearney, NE -
A $68 million high school broke ground in Kearney on Wednesday.
It's been ten months since the election that funded the project and nearly a month since prep work began on the site.
Machinery that's been doing that work went quiet as Kearney Public Schools ceremoniously put shovel to dirt at the 2702 West 11th Street site.
"Today's just a great day to celebrate and begin the real work and start to see this thing start to come out of the ground," said Kearney High principal Dr. Jay Dostal.
Future students attending the groundbreaking also seemed excited about the plans.
"It's great,” said Dawson Stutz, a K.P.S. fifth grader. “The football fields and the pools, the big gym.”
New labs and a wing dedicated to technical and career education excite administrators.
"It's going to be an unbelievable opportunity for our students to learn in an environment that's a little bit more modern and up to the speed that they need to have," said Dostal.
"Working with technology of 2014 versus the technology of the late 1950's," said K.P.S. superintendent Dr. Brian Maher.
The new building with have to hold larger classes than ever before.
"Just in the last eight years we've grown by over 400 students, so we'll continue to grow. Kearney High School will continue to grow and that's a good issue to have to deal with," said Maher.
"From the north end of the building to the south end of the building, it's the size of three football fields, so it's a huge facility," said Dostal of the new school.
He said he won’t let the community or his staff and students forget that this construction is going on.
"I think that our kids need to know that the community has invested a lot in them and we need to keep that in front of them," said Dostal.
Kearney voters have approved more than $120 million in school bonds over the past four years.
"That's a lot of bonded indebtedness so we've got a lot of responsibility with that money; but hopefully we can take care of that bonded indebtedness fairly quickly by being good stewards of the money," said Maher.
They'll see some of that investment when the new Kearney High School opens in fall of 2016.