The patrons of Shawnee Mission School District passed a bond issue to fund replacement of a number of older school buildings that were not adequately serving the educational requirements of the 21st century. Merriam Park Elementary School replaces two schools whose populations were too small to continue operating efficiently. Merriam Park is a three-unit, K-6 facility CAPACITY550COST PER SQ FT$132.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio incorporates all of the district’s new design standards for elementary schools, including educational technology, electronic access and security, audiovisual and energy-management systems, and communications.
The school district asked for a masonry building and required that it be constructed on the site of the existing Merriam Elementary, which had to be kept in operation until the new school was ready for occupancy. The lobby is a focal point of the school and opens to the media library, which offers views to an adjacent wooded area. The corridor serving the gym and cafeteria displays a timeline that chronicles the civil-rights movement within Shawnee Mission.
The designers strove to encourage enthusiasm for learning in this school.