The first Prop Wildcats project is set to kick off Wednesday.

School officials are scheduled to celebrate the start of the Beaufort Elementary construction project. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 4 p.m. at the school.

The ceremony will mark the unofficial start of the renovations at the school. Members of the school board, administration, school officials and students are expected to shovel some dirt to celebrate construction starting.

Wright Construction, St. Peters, recently was awarded a contract for the school improvement project. The work includes both additions and renovations to the elementary school.

The school district will pay Wright Construction $3,033,000 for the work.

The biggest part of the project is building a new gym. The gym, which also will serve as a storm shelter, will allow for existing space at the school to be remodeled into several classrooms, special education rooms, a media center and offices for counselors.

The gym will replace the current gym/cafeteria and designate that room as just a cafeteria. The new gym will be located on the south side of the school.

The improvements are being funded by Prop Wildcats. In April, voters approved a $27 million no-tax increase bond issue for school improvements.

Prop Wildcats aimed to fund several upgrades throughout the district, as well as the construction of a new elementary school at district-owned land on the east side of Union.

The Beaufort project is the first one to move forward.

With the contract approved, construction of the additions is projected to begin soon and will most likely be finished by August of 2019.