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New OPS high school at 60th and L will have maker studios, marker board walls

New OPS high school at 60th and L will have maker studios, marker board walls

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Students will be writing on the walls at the new Omaha Public Schools high school planned for south-central Omaha.

Marker board walls, spaces that can serve different functions and maker studios are all things district officials are planning as they create a high school for the 21st century.

It is, after all, the first time OPS is building a high school in this century. The district, which hasn’t opened a high school since the 1970s, is in the process of designing two.

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OPS officials have emphasized that the high schools will look nothing like the seven others in the district. At a community meeting Thursday night, district officials elaborated on what that means and shared preliminary design plans for the school at 60th and L Streets.

Details on the new high school at 156th and Ida Streets were shared Tuesday. Both high schools are scheduled to open for the 2022-2023 school year.

The school at 60th and L will be 285,000 square feet, sit on 40.52 acres of land and cost $92.4 million to build. The three-story school will have a capacity of 1,500 students.

The classrooms will be on all three floors of the building, with many of the rooms having abundant natural light, officials said.

School administrators won’t work out of a centralized office at the front of the building but will be situated throughout the building so they’re closer to students.

Outside the school, there will be parking for about 750 vehicles. Parking lots will be connected so traffic can leave school grounds and flow onto 60th Street or L Street. Staff and student parking will be separated.

There will be two football or soccer fields, a track, and baseball and softball fields, but officials said there will be limited spectator facilities.

There are no plans to build a football stadium. Instead, the varsity football team would play at Bergquist Stadium at Norris Middle School.

Both of the high schools remain nameless. Names ultimately will be selected by the school board with the help of a naming committee.

The attendance boundaries for the schools have not been determined yet.

As the work continues on the high schools, the district will provide updates at bond.ops.org.

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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