PITTSBURG, Kans. — A landmark school in Pittsburg celebrated a big turning point Monday, with sweeping changes in the future.

Monday was a sort of groundbreaking ceremony for Pittsburg Community Middle School. But there were no shovels involved.

Trading sledgehammers for shovels, school and community officials kicked off a big overhaul of the Pittsburg Community Middle School.

“I think it’s amazing. Especially, I’ve went to this middle school, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. And I think it’s really awesome just to see this school getting improved,” said Rashaad Green, Pittsburg Student.

“I think it’ll be cool, becuase like we can do more activities. Like the science lab, so I think that will be something really cool,” added Addie Broxsterman, Pittsburg Student.

The $16,000,000 bond project will redo the historic facade of the school and make changes inside. The goal is reshaping the floor plan for a 21st century education.

“We’re gonna have some flexible learning spaces and some state of the art science labs that will be wonderful for our students to have opportunities that will lead into career pathways at our high school. We’ve been working on curriculum to align with the high school. These spaces will allow us to add those classes and those opportunities,” said Laura Earl, PCMS Principal.

Fencing will soon go up as crews start demolition, addressing everything from aging brick outside to asbestos inside.

“The demolition is going to be the major portion of it. There’ll be walls that are going to come down. But the structure the building is incredible for a 100 year old building. And so it’s structurally sound, there won’t be anything wrong with the building itself. But then we’ll go back in and try to make some 21st century learning spaces out of out of this old building,” said Rich Proffitt, Pittsburg USD 250 Superintendent.

Work is expected to take more than a year, but should wrap up in time for the start of classes in the fall of 2023.

Pittsburg voters approved the $16,000,000 bond question at the beginning of the year.