Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Committee begins tackling district’s need for space

March 14, 2007

Facilities planning for the Basehor-Linwood school district is well under way.

Superintendent Bob Albers told school board members Monday nightthe facilities planning committee, made up of 23 appointed members of the public, met for the first time Feb. 22, .

Albers said the meeting was mostly to introduce and acclimate the members to the needs of the district. An important item discussed were the immediate needs in each building as reported by teachers and administrators.

"Most of them have a space crunch for what you would call the support classes, such as music, P.E., art and computers," Albers said. "Those types of classes take up a considerable amount of space and a lot of buildings don't have enough space."

For example, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School had to have music classes out in the commons area last year, Albers said. This year, the kindergarten class is smaller, so music classes are in one of those classrooms. But Albers predicts the music classes will be right back out in the hallway again next year.

Linwood Elementary School and Basehor-Linwood Middle School have a unique situation in the district because they share a building. While LES has space, the middle school is spilling into the elementary school to accommodate more classes.

"Linwood Elementary probably has the most room, but it's being gobbled up by the middle school," Albers said.

Other needs included space for all-day kindergarten. While the district does not offer all-day kindergarten now, Albers said he suspects it will come into play in the next two to three years. When all-day kindergarten does come, each elementary school will need an additional classroom to accommodate it.

The committee also discussed enrollment projections compared to each building's capacity. The schools with the most concern are BLMS, GRES and Basehor Elementary School:

  • BLMS has a capacity of 350 students and is expected to reach that in about four years.
  • GRES has a capacity of 310 students and is expected to reach that in about three years.
  • BES has a capacity of 410 and will probably reach that as soon as next year.

Even if a bond is passed, it will take a few years to get anything built, Albers said.

"We have three schools that within the next three or four years are going to be busting at the seams," he said. "So it's time to address those needs."

Committee members requested information such as available building sites, district maps with enrollment distributions, housing developments, the age of facilities, bus travel times for various buildings and programs and functional capacity in each building for the next meeting. They met Wednesday evening, and details from that meeting will be in next week's Sentinel.

Searches ongoing

Albers also updated board members on the search for an assistant superintendent to replace Don Swartz, who is retiring at the end of the school year and an assistant high school principal to replace Sherry Reeves, who was promoted to principal.

Current high school principal Steve Blankenship has taken the principal position at Pratt High School and will be resigning at the end of the school year.

About 12 applications for the assistant superintendent position and 25 applications for the assistant principal position have been turned in. Albers said he expected more to come in before the March 15 deadline.

The screening process will begin Friday and continue over spring break. Interviews are expected to take place at the end of March and candidates will be chosen at the beginning of April.

Action items:

  • Approved, 6-0, the school calendar for the 2007-2008 school year.
  • Approved, 6-0, the Board of Education policy chapter E for final reading and chapter F for first reading.
  • Met in executive session for about an hour to discuss nonelected personnel and acquisition of real property.
  • Approved, 6-0, the contracts for Cathy Lamb, BES custodian, and Jo Ann Ellis, LES teacher's aide.
  • Approved, 6-0, the resignations of Larry Walleck, central office custodian, and Tiffany Jackson, BLMS girl's basketball coach.
  • Approved, 6-0, contract renewals for Basehor-Linwood High School assistant principal and athletic director Joe Keeler, BLMS principal Mike Boyd, BES principal Teri Holmes and GRES principal Jan Hancock.
  • Approved, 6-0, the contract renewal of Sandy Guidry, director of curriculum and instruction.
  • Met in executive session to discuss nonelected personnel and matters affecting identifiable students.

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