Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Board delays consideration of bond issue

June 16, 2005

It's unlikely that Basehor-Linwood School Board members will vote against supporting a $23.3 million new school construction proposal recommended by the District Advisory Council.

But, they'll have to wait until next month to vote one way or the other.

During Monday night's school board meeting, members voted to table the DAC's recommendation for new facilities. Outgoing school board member Chris Claflin urged the board to delay its vote until two new members take office next month.

"It seems to me it would be fair to let Randy (Cunningham) and Gary (Johnson) make this vote," Claflin said. He added, "They would need to be the ones getting behind it." In July, Johnson and Cunningham will replace Claflin, Position 6 representative, and Laffere, Position 4 representative, on the board.

The DAC is a group of area patrons who have met periodically for the past year and a half to discuss educational issues. A prime area of discussion centered on new facilities to accommodate anticipated student growth.

The advisory council should be commended for agreeing to a future facilities plan for the school district, Superintendent Jill Hackett said.

"That was their charge, to come up with a plan to present to the board," she said.

The $23.3 million plan forged and endorsed by the DAC would pay for a new elementary school, at an as-yet undetermined location, as well as expansions and renovations to existing schools in the district.

School officials have said they will wait until after Sept. 20, the date next year's official attendance figures will be finalized, before putting the question before voters. School officials said to put the bond issue up for vote in November they would need to approve a resolution in August.

According to school district research, 3,070 homes are approved for building and more than 1,050 additional homes are in the planning stage within the school district boundaries. Using a 0.43 students-per-home formula, the district would could see an infusion of 1,320 new students in coming years from the 3,070 homes approved for construction.

Two of the district's elementary schools are already near capacity, school officials said. Both Basehor and Glenwood Ridge have 10 percent of room available for new students.

The school district is basing next year's budget on an enrollment of 1,745 students. At the end of the school year, enrollment stood at 1,697, but that figure is increasing day by day.

Don Swartz, school district director of operations, said Basehor Elementary School has already heard from parents of 19 new students who most likely will attend the school this fall.

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