Archive for Thursday, January 17, 2008

Superintendent updates board on school projects

January 17, 2008

The first round of construction planning meetings involving the Basehor-Linwood school district bond issue are finished, which gave Superintendent Bob Albers the opportunity to spend part of the first school board meeting of 2008 going over progress reports for some of the district's projects.

Albers said he met Monday with Mark Franzen and Gordon Kimble of Horst, Terrill and Karst Architects to first discuss sound quality issues in the Basehor-Linwood High School gymnasium and auditorium.

"Engineers from Acoustical Design came in to look at the systems and will come back with some recommendations and designs on how we might improve the quality of sound in the gymnasium and auditorium," Albers said.

Where to place speakers and amplifiers on various athletic fields, including the baseball and softball fields, the planned new soccer field and the football field, are also in ongoing discussions.

Bid documents for the soccer field are expected to be complete by the first of next week, Albers said.

"This will allow them to start construction and be far enough along so we can seed the grass toward the end of March," he said.

Board members and Albers also mulled over what to do with extra land purchased to build the new middle school. Albers said the district bought 77 acres of land on 158th Street across from Glenwood Ridge Elementary School and will use approximately half of it for the middle school. Comments were made about selling the remaining land, retaining it for future district use or leasing it to an area farmer for crops.

"It's my opinion that we don't get rid of anything until after the school is built," president Randy Cunningham said. "Then we can make a decision about what to do with it then."

"As hard as it is to acquire land, I agree with Randy," board member Doug Bittel said.

Board member Jeane Redmond, who manages farms and ranches for Bank of America, talked about the various ways the district could go about leasing the extra land, from talking to area farmers that might be interested to holding a bidding process.

"Sometimes it works and sometimes you don't get the best farmer," Redmond said about the bidding process approach.

She also estimated that annual rent per acre could be anywhere from $50 to $70.

"We need to decide whether it's worth it to do it," she said.

Cunningham said that while the middle school is being built, construction vehicles will be moving in and out of the area, making damage to land and crops a possibility. Board members agreed when he suggested holding off on even leasing the land this year to avoid any liability.

"I wonder if it would be more advantageous just to let it set," he said. "We would easily lose $2,500 if we caused problems with that farmer. I think we'd be better off at least this year until we get into the construction stage. There may be some liability to leasing it and we certainly don't need that. The construction equipment gets in there this spring. We'll certainly know by August or September of this year where we'll be and we can make a decision then."

Albers said the next round of planning meetings probably would start around Jan. 28. Individuals will have the chance to talk about specific needs for various classrooms during these meetings.

"The wheel grinds slowly, but we're on the move," Albers said about the progress. "Our next big concern is making sure the land is transferred that the elementary school is supposed to be on and getting sewer issues worked out at the middle school."

In action items Monday, the board:

¢ Approved, 6-0, with Patrick Jeannin absent, credit/debit card fees.

¢ Approved, 6-0, BOE Policy Chapter I: Instruction for final reading.

¢ Tabled BOE Policy Chapter J: Students, Part I for first reading.

¢ Approved, 6-0, pilot program for all-day kindergarten at Linwood Elementary School.

¢ Approved, 6-0, athletic field expenditures - $16,190 from the Bond and Interest Fund and $16,700 from Capital Outlay.

¢ Met in executive session for 40 minutes to discuss matters pertaining to non-elected personnel and negotiations.

¢ Approved, 7-0, (Jeannin now present) to extend the superintendent's contract for one year.

¢ Approved, 7-0, the position of supervisor of construction for Chris Claflin.

¢ Approved, 7-0, a contract for Basehor-Linwood High School custodian Mike McCoy.

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