When new Omaha Public Schools Superintendent Cheryl Logan drove through northwest Omaha for the first time, she noted two things.
Lots of driving. And the need for another high school.
“Wow, we need a school out here,” Logan told a crowd of parents and community members at Alfonza W. Davis Middle School on Tuesday night.
District officials are working on it.
OPS, which hasn’t opened a high school since the early 1970s, is adding two. When the buildings are completed, the district will have nine high schools.
This week, district officials are giving parents and community members a glimpse at early plans for the two schools and taking questions. Tuesday the focus was on the high school planned for 156th and Ida Streets.
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The 315,000 square foot school will sit on 72.88 acres of land and cost $92 million to build. It will have capacity for 1,500 students and is projected to open for the 2022-2023 school year.
The school will have a joint YMCA facility with a six-lane indoor pool, a fitness center and other amenities. Officials said Tuesday that they are reviewing plans so students and members of the public can share the space safely.
The school will be two stories and won’t look like any of the current high schools in the district. Classrooms in the school will be called “studios” and each will serve multiple functions throughout the day instead of remaining just a math or English classroom.
The setup, officials said, is similar to what students will see when they head to college.
The emphasis will be on “flexible and adaptive” spaces so as the world changes in coming decades, the school can change with it.
Outside of the school, there will be parking for about 1,000 vehicles. There’s space for baseball, softball and track, and a practice field. The YMCA might have additional fields.
There are no plans to build a football stadium. Instead, the varsity football team would share a stadium with Burke High School.
School board member Lou Ann Goding said the artificial turf at Burke is being replaced and will have a more generic logo so both schools can use the field.
Construction on the schoolis scheduled to begin in the spring or summer.
For now, the school remains nameless. A naming committee will be formed, and the final decision belongs to the school board. Schools in the district cannot be named for people unless that person has been dead for at least 10 years.
District officials next will talk about the new school at 60th and L Streets on Thursday at Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary School, 5050 S. 51st St., starting at 6 p.m.