Ribbon Cutting for Dome School Planned for May 19

It took four bond elections and more than six years, but the small Kansas town of Leoti is finally getting a new Monolithic Dome school to replace its 85-year-old elementary school building. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for May 19 on the first of three dome structures that are under construction.

“This really could be a showcase,” Wichita County Schools Superintendent Jim Hardy told the Hutchinson News.

This first dome will serve as a multipurpose center, and was funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture Department. Plans call for a second dome to serve students in kindergarten through second grade. A third dome will be used as a cafeteria and gym.

The new buildings will allow the school district to move students out of R.B. Stewart Elementary, which has plumbing and heating problems, fire safety and asbestos issues, and termite and water damage.

Hardy expects the district’s utility costs to be $100,000 lower due to the energy-efficiency of the new buildings. “The domes are a lot less expensive than conventional construction, and they are incredibly energy efficient,” he said.