Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2004

Lenexa growth next USD 232 challenge

First district students from Mize-area subdivisions expected next August

February 12, 2004

In his job as planner for De USD 232, Jack Deyoe has learned to respect sewers.
Deyoe gained direct experience with the axiom that development follows sewers in west Shawnee. That area's residential explosion of the last six years followed Johnson County Wastewater District's construction of a sewer plant to serve the Mill Creek basin.
West Shawnee subdivision continue to spout homes as abundantly as the former fields they were built on once produced crops, but the extension of sewer service from that same Mill Creek sewer plant now has Deyoe tracking subdivisions planned elsewhere.
"There's a lot of activity around us," Deyoe said. "That's kind of the nature. They (subdivisions) just follow the sewer."
Lenexa city maps show three subdivisions platted for the USD 232 section of Lenexa west of Kansas Highway 7. Lu Anne Johnson of the Lenexa planning department said one of those, the 145-lot Gleason Glen was already active.
Sewer lines were now being laid in two other subdivisions between Mize and Clare roads south of 83rd Street -- the 307-home Timbers of Clear Creek and the 78-home Cedar Crest, Johnson said.
Students from Gleason Glen and Timbers of Clear Creek could start enrolling in De Soto schools next fall, Deyoe said. It would apparently be later before home construction started in Cedar Crest. Its developer, Lenny Mullins, was focused on a retail center at the Mize/83rd Street intersection, he said.
The district prepared for the growth through the 2002, $76 million bond referendum. Its passage secured funding to purchase land at 83rd Street and Mize Road for a central middle- and high-school campus. Money was also made available for the middle school and three elementary schools.
One of the new elementary schools will open next year in west Shawnee near the district's east campus. Construction on the second school should start next fall. The location of the third elementary school hasn't been decided and would depend on growth in Lenexa and De Soto.
The middle school would obviously serve the new Lenexa subdivisions as well as those in Shawnee west of K-7. Deyoe said it was projected the central middle school would open in August 2007, but that would depend on enrollment, the consequence of new district attendance boundaries that would enroll middle school students living south of 45th Street and west of K-7 in Lexington Trails Middle School, and growth in De Soto.
Lenexa planners have estimated the area of that city west of K-7 would eventually be home to 8,000 residents. Certainly, the area of pastures and large lots will look very different late in the decade. A Catholic high school now being constructed is slated for an August 2005 opening.
That school will be at the southeast intersection Prairie Star Parkway and Mize Road, roads that are to become major arterials. Ongoing studies are considering upgrades to other streets in the area, including 83rd Street.
Lenexa City Engineer Mike Novak said the 83rd Street study was looking at improvements to intersections and road grades from Gleason Road west to the De Soto city limits. The next report on that study was due Feb. 26, he said.
"That work is going to identify more work that is going to be done," he said. "It's more of a planning tool for us."
It was suggested improvements to the intersections, particularly at Mize Road/83rd Street, could be "timely" with the central middle school's opening, Novak said.

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