Board OKs plans for Johsmeyer Gymnasium
Plans for the Earl W. Johnsmeyer Gymnasium are coming to life. The gym could be dedicated as early as January, thanks to action taken Monday by Lansing school board.
The board voted 5-0, with Rob Nicholas and Craig Gephart absent, to turn over plans for renaming Lansing High School's gym to schools superintendent Randal Bagby.
Lansing Alumni Association president June Foley presented to the board the recommendations of a seven-person committee on how to recognize Johnsmeyer, a longtime teacher, coach and counselor at Lansing High School.
The committee suggested placing cast metal letters on the outside west wall of the gym, putting a bronze plaque with a short biography and a bust of Johnsmeyer outside the gym door and repainting the north wall of the gym to read "Earl W. Johnsmeyer Gymnasium."
Currently, the north wall says "Lansing Lions," but Foley said both LHS principal Steve Dike and activities director Gary Mattingly had agreed the wall could be repainted. Foley suggested painting "Home of the Lansing Lions" on the east wall above the home bleachers.
Foley said she had received estimates from Young Sign Co. in Leavenworth for the suggested items: $1,500 for the plaque, $558 to repaint the north gym wall and $2,576 for the cast metal letters. Foley also received an estimate of $1,165 for plastic letters to be placed outside instead of the metal letters, but committee members recommended the metal letters because they said the metal would last longer and match the lettering of "Lansing High School" on the front of the building. She did not get an estimate for painting the east wall of the gym.
Board president Brian Bode questioned Foley about the alumni association's ability to pay for any of the work it had suggested.
Foley said the association's only funding went to either the group's scholarship funds or the annual alumni reunion. She said the committee had brainstormed fundraising ideas, but she feared the efforts would take too long.
The committee hoped to dedicate the gym on Jan. 6, 2006, the first Friday home basketball game.
After hearing the association's plight, the board directed Bagby move forward on the dedication of the gym and to commission the work with costs not to exceed $5,500. Bagby will solicit bids for the cast metal letters, bronze plaque and repainting of the gym's north and east walls.
Foley said her committee had no idea the board would step up to cover the funding.
"I was very pleased with this because it is something that's being done for the school itself," she said.
Bagby echoed the sentiment.
"I agree (with the board's decision to fund the project) because it's our building," he said. "It kind of keeps it where it should be."
However, Bagby said that because the expense was not budgeted, he didn't know from where the money would be drawn.
In other action, the board:
¢ Adopted the agenda and approved the consent agenda
¢ Heard acknowledgements. LHS principal Steve Dike thanked Melissa Cappel and Rhonda Lang for organizing Homecoming festivities; assistant schools superintendent Donna Hughes, Linda Leffler, Debra Hutton, Tracy Hutton, Mary Alice Schroeger and two student translators, Tang Lin and Gelin "Green" Liao, for accommodating two principals from Kaifeng, China, who visited LHS. Hughes added thanks for Bianca Elliot, Cathy Smith and maintenance staff for their help while the visitors were in town. Board members Karalin Alsdurf and Shelly Gowdy acknowledged LHS student Heather Bennett, who is the youngest member of the Lansing-Leavenworth Leadership Class. "It makes me proud that she's from our school district," Gowdy said.
¢ Approved an audit report by the firm Bogner and Long. The report noted that activity funds were a problem area - for example, it said the fund reports were inaccurate and money remained in elementary and high school textbook funds that should have been transferred to the district at year's end. Overall, however, CPA David Bogner said the district was in good shape.
¢ Heard a report that the district's official full-time equivalency enrollment was 2,146.5, a total increase of 57 students from last year. Actual headcount was 17 students more than what was estimated earlier this year.
¢ Accepted the low bid from Linaweaver Construction Inc., Lansing, to build an auxiliary road connecting the LHS parking lot to East Mary Street with costs not to exceed $74,000. The road will be an alternate entrance to the parking lot once construction begins on the high school auditorium.
¢ Approved Slammers wrestling club's use of the LHS wrestling room, contingent upon proof of insurance.
¢ Approved a change in site council for Lansing Intermediate School.
¢ Approved creation of a strategic planning committee to set long-term goals for the district and directed the superintendent to solicit applications for service on the panel.
¢ Approved Northeast Elite Volleyball Club's use of Lansing Middle School gym, contingent upon proof of insurance.
¢ Appointed board member Beth Stevenson to the board's negotiating team for the 2005-06 school year.
¢ Approved the framework of the board's goals, including establishing interim meetings with the LEA, updating the district Web site with progress reports on construction of the new elementary school and high school auditorium, expanding students' exposure to diversity programs and technology, increasing focus on teaching reading in all subjects, emphasizing teaching of students with special needs and studying the need for a human resource director position.
¢ Approved appointments of Bryan Shelley, LMS head boys basketball coach; Tracy Andrews, LMS assistant girls basketball coach; Nick Runnebaum, LMS assistant girls basketball coach; Lee Matzeder, LMS wrestling co-head coach; Brian Rees, LHS assistant wrestling coach; Carrie Ritchey, LHS assistant girls basketball coach.
¢ Went into executive session for 30 minutes to discuss the superintendent's evaluation but took no action.