ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News is in Andover as part of our 3 in the Community initiative.

Greater Andover Days kicks off

GAD Stand With Andover (Courtesy: City of Andover)

This weekend is Greater Andover Days (GAD). It is a three-day community event being held in Andover Central Park. The theme for the festival is Stand with Andover.

The City used resilience, strength and community after many members were impacted by the EF-3 tornado back in April that touched down in southeast Sedgwick County and continued into Andover, destroying homes.

During the event this weekend, attendees can find fun for the family, including food trucks, music, craft vendors, a carnival, a pickleball tournament, an archery clinic, a pet show, a parade, a golf tournament, a hot dog eating contest, fireworks, children’s activities, a movie in the park, and more.

Prairie Creek Elementary reopens following tornado damage

During the April tornado, Prairie Creek Elementary was severely damaged. Parts of the roof were ripped off, and water was left standing in the classrooms.

The superintendent of the district made many calls that night, and the next day, a couple of dozen people from Hutton Construction were at the school cleaning up. Teachers were given a week off to plan the rest of the year. Students spent the last two weeks split up in five different locations.

Over the summer, crews worked to get the school ready for classes in August, and all students were reunited for the start of the school year.

“So Andover is a very strong community before the tornado, but I think in times of crisis, you really pull even closer together, and I think that’s definitely happened here,” Brett White, Andover superintendent, said.

He adds staff and students are thrilled to be back in the building.

Andover recovery efforts after EF3 tornado

KSN spoke with Andover Public Information Officer Megan Schapaugh, about the recovery efforts following the April tornado. You can watch the interview above.

City wants input on comprehensive plan for future

Andover is now looking to the future. The City put together a comprehensive plan that focuses on the city’s growth, development, priorities, and services.

From transportation to housing and amenities, this is essentially a road map for the next ten years, and the City wants your input.

“Really really tap into what’s important for them, how they view the city growing over the next ten years, how they want the city to grow whether that’s certain amenities or certain things the city that they think is lacking or certain areas that they think we’ve been successful, but they would like they would like to see continue to grow,” said Justin Constantino, Andover Assistant Director of Community Development.

The City has a booth at Greater Andover Days with the plans so people can give their feedback.

Andover Central combines science and cooking

Andover Central High School students are combing science with cooking. The students from botany to culinary classes run their own greenhouse.

In it, they use a hydroponics system to monitor the growth and health of their plants. Students say they learn through every stage of the process, from planting to harvesting.

“We got to pick what we wanted to plan, and um, we had to do a lot of research over how to grow these certain types because it’s crazy, I’m growing pink corn, and it’s very interesting,” Lauren Mcilvain, Andover Central junior, said.

“We have used tomatoes, we have used those most often, the lettuce we use quite a bit, and we come in here and harvest it and use it in our classroom, and then, we’ll be able to make multiple different dishes,” Hayley Boatright, Andover Central senior, said.

The culinary students say they have learned that fresh veggies and herbs taste a lot better than store-bought.

Andover schools working on suicide prevention

The Andover school district is working to prevent suicides. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people 15 to 24 years old.

The district has implemented the Zero Reasons Why campaign. It aims to end teen suicide and focus on mental health. Students say the cause hits close to home.

“I know a few people from my family who have struggled with it, and I’ve seen how that has negatively impacted their lives, and I think it’s important for people to hear about it,” Kate Burdette, Andover High School sophomore, said.

“I’ve had friends in the past who have contemplated suicide, and it’s a terrible thing. Just letting them know that they’re not alone and there’s other people out there that have gone through the same thing that are also willing to help and support them,” Sam Keeene, Andover High School senior, said.

The Zero Reasons Why campaign began in Johnson County and has been adopted by districts across the state.

The teens involved in the Wichita metro area actually get together to discuss what works and what doesn’t at their schools and bounce ideas off each other.

CAPS program sees success

Another cool program is Andover CAPS. It is dedicated to helping students find their purpose and set them on a path.

It helps juniors and seniors figure out what they want to do or don’t want to do in life once they graduate.

“If a kid is invested, if they’re curious, if they have desire to learn more about something, they are so much more successful in what they want to attempt,” Brian Gregoire, Andover CAPS director.

The program is made possible through partnerships with community members, businesses and organizations.

CAPS has several paths called strands, including healthcare, engineering, business entrepreneurship, and create.

KSN talks with Renew Consign & Cafe in Andover

As part of our fall coffee shop Friday, KSN is at Renew Consign & Cafe in Andover. The cafe is located at 403 W. Central.