On Nov. 29, fencing was put up around the front side of West and construction on a new Robotics and Geometry building here on campus. Currently, all robotics take place at LSHS.
Robotics team member senior Brianna Harmon said, “We started out at Billy Goat and jumped around until we found a shop space at Lee’s Summit High School. It has been amazing to have our own shop space, but it is inconvenient to have to travel to a different high school almost every day, especially for the underclassmen. So once the opportunity arose to get our own shop at Lee’s Summit West, the team jumped on the chance.”
The idea of a Robotics facility on campus has been a long time coming but has just now had the opportunity to become reality. Principal Dr. Hertzog said, “There are two pieces that really pushed this: this robotics team has been around for a long long time and they have had to share facilities over at Lee’s Summit Highschool. The other was the new course ‘Geometry and Construction’, so needing a facility for both of those spaces prompted this.”
After becoming a priority project in the district, the Robotics facility went through a multi-step process of approval by the LSR7 Board of Education. District Superintendent David Buck said, “Once they gave us the “ok” to pursue it, we then had architects design it. Next, we went out to bid taking best bid to the board of education to approve, then we bring back the contract, they approved that. So, three times the board touches it for approval.” On Dec. 15, the contract for the build was approved, issuing the start of construction.
The soon to be robotics building purpose “is to have one space for all the robotics needs that is also easily accessible for all students.” says Brianna Harmon. The facility will impact students in ways that will help innovate and advance learning. Hertzog said, “I think it is going to impact so many kids here at West. In our robotics program we’ve already got roughly 40-60 students.” The new building will impact elementary and middle school students involved in robotics and geometry as well. With more space and advanced equipment schools such as Trailridge Elementary will move practice to the new facility once construction is completed.
This new addition on campus will serve as more than just a space but as an opportunity for the robotics program to advance as a whole. To Harmon, it’s even more personal. Harmon said, “This building actually means a lot to me. It is exciting how robotics has finally been recognized for the hard work being put in to be a world-known team. The past four years of my life have revolved around robotics and I am glad to see what we do to encourage STEM has impacted our school. As a senior, this new shop won’t affect me that much, but I am excited to see what the new shop could do for future students.”
Hertzog and members from the board hope the new Geometry course will allow students to discover interests and career pathways. Hertzog said, “It is going to allow students who have a desire to go into construction trade or just apply geometry a different way, and not just sit in a class room and learn geometry so with the building it is going to help impact those students as well.” Following Dr. Hertzog’s statement, Buck added, “We want to help kids find their path and help employers find future employment.”
From serving as a space for robotics, to helping kids further their career interests in geometry, the new robotics and geometry construction should be completed and accessible to students by the first of next school year.