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Little Panthers/DEC takes shape
Work continues at the former CUNA complex, soon to become the site of Great Bend USD 428’s Little Panthers Preschool and District Education Center. Assistant Superintendent John Popp shared recent photos at Monday’s school board meeting. Shown here is playground equipment for the preschool.

Playground equipment has been installed at the site of the new Little Panthers Preschool, Assistant Superintendent John Popp told the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education this week. Popp shared the latest photos of work at the former CUNA complex at 1809 24th St. After remodeling is completed this year, it will house the preschool and the District Education Center.

All of the carpeting and tile inside have been laid, Popp said.

He also showed photos of the interior on the preschool side and the office side. The preschool classrooms can be distinguished by different colors of walls on the exterior. There will also be different animals painted on these walls and large bulletin boards in the halls, but these have yet to be installed.

While much of the furnishings in the building are new, the district will reuse some remnants of the former CUNA complex, including cubicle walls. Popp said the walls have been shortened so they no longer go to the ceiling, providing a more open atmosphere while still allowing some privacy. (If more privacy is needed, there are meeting rooms available.)

The district will also reuse the furniture and classroom items from the current Little Panthers location. This covers three classrooms that were opened in 2021. The new facility will have 15 classrooms and will open in August to accommodate up to 288 preschoolers, ages 3 and 4 years old. Contributions and pledges to support the cost of this expansion are being accepted through the “Building for the Future” capital campaign, with a goal of raising $150,000. Learn more online at

The purchase of security cameras for the facility was approved Monday by the school board.