Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Letter: a few questions

October 3, 2007

A few questions

To the Editor:

Dear USD 458 voters:

After reviewing what our school district is wanting I have some concerns to share with you. In the last few days Superintendent Bob Albers has been very helpful getting me detailed information about the bond that is not listed on any flyers such as square footages, furniture, playground equipment, etc., so that I can get a grasp as to why the amount of the bond is so high. He has told me that the figures are from the architects.

I work in the school field and have worked at virtually every school district in Kansas and many in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. After working on 1,300+ schools for the last 12+ years I feel I know how the school process and designs work. We are being asked to pass a bond to build schools that will cost more per square foot than Blue Valley, De Soto and many other school districts.

I have created a web page with my concerns for the public to view. Please go to to see the research I have done on this. I do like most of what the plan offers but question the extra $8.9 million that seems wasted. This plan is 22 percent high by my estimates. I only want to see this reduced so in the future we can afford to do more.

On May 16, the school district had an article in the paper proposing that the cost would be $31 million. That figure jumped to $39.9 million in August. Dr. Albers has written an e-mail to me that stated that inflation is some factor. I do not believe this is the case since his architect only figures 5.5% per year for this. Blue Valley is building a bigger middle school to be ready in 2011 that is only $21 million. Why is ours $24.8 million?

I think the voters should have this information before they vote. Anyone wanting more information about the facts and questions on this bond can go to and make their own comments. There is a forum there wheres other voters can express their views. I have proof of all claims and if anyone would like to view or get copies of any blueprints and cost figures from other schools please stop by my office at 2722 N. 155th St. I have access to most every set of plans for the last five years and all future development.

A concerned taxpayer,

Dennis Mertz


Commenting has been disabled for this item.