Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2008

Elementary playground plans move forward

March 13, 2008

As construction work nears completion on the new Lansing Elementary School building, school board members are beginning to look at a side of the project that is a little more fun.

In the regular monthly meeting Monday, the board approved, 7-0, a bid from AB Creative, a De Soto-based firm, for a playground design and equipment in the sum of $126,240.

"The bid is for foundation pieces," said Superintendent Randal Bagby. "They're things we know we need and want and we'll do enhancements as we see we need them."

Presenting the bid to the board was Mary Alice Schroeger and Vickie Kelly of the LES playground committee. Their prepared statement said that AB Creative "demonstrated reliable service by working with the Lansing School District from the beginning of the project in December of 2007."

Included in the initial phase are 13 pieces of equipment broken up into sections for different age groups. There will be vertical climbers, slides, tunnels, swings, a zip line and balance beams.

Kelly told the board that there is so much information available about playground equipment that it became overwhelming. She said a school could spend a huge amount of money on so many different pieces of equipment that the committee ultimately decided to keep it simple in the beginning.

"I really like the idea of starting with some foundation pieces and having kids get a feel for what they want," she said. "We're not kids so it's hard to know what they enjoy."

Bagby said the approved bid by AB Creative is about one-half to three-fourths of what the district will spend in total on the playground.

"Our work is just beginning," he said. "A lot of the work's done, and we can get some pieces in place, but more work will need to be done."

Schroeger noted there have been several fundraising efforts to help with the cost. The intermediate school raised $5,000 and Reilly & Sons Inc., gave another $5,000, which will go toward the first phase of work.

There is also another $25,000 that's been raised, which she said will be used for "enhancements" such as benches, trash receptacles and basketball goals. Schroeger said she was currently looking for volunteers to serve on an "enhancement committee." Anyone interested can contact her at (816) 804-0194.

The equipment is expected to be installed once asphalt is laid, which is dependent upon the weather, but Bagby said it would be ready for the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year.

In other business Monday, the board:

¢ Heard a presentation from Bianca Elliott, Lansing High School teacher, about her recent trip to Saudi Arabia.

Elliott, and a group of 25 other Americans, were chosen by the Institute of International Education to promote closer educational relationships between the United States and foreign countries.

During her presentation she dressed in the typical outfit a woman in Saudi Arabia would wear. She was completely covered except for a small slit for her eyes. During her trip she toured schools and historic sites learning about the different culture.

Now that she's returned, she said she has already started sharing her new knowledge with people. She's incorporated many lessons into her classroom and is preparing lesson plans to visit Kansas University and the University of Saint Mary. She added that she is available to any Lansing group that would be interested in her talk as well.

"Thank you for letting me go on this amazing trip," she said.

¢ Approved, 7-0, to keep the 2008-2009 enrollment fees at the same rates as the previous year. The fees are as follows: $54 for elementary school, $75 for middle school and $100 for high school.

¢ Approved, 7-0, to adopt the 2008-2009 district calendar. On the calendar, the first day of school will be August 13 and the last day will be May 22.

¢ Approved, 7-0, a proposal for the 2008 summer school session. The remedial portion will be offered to students who have completed grades one through seven at no charge for students recommended by teachers. The session will be held June 2 to 27. Classes will focus on math and reading and will be held at Lansing Middle School.

The Lion Learning Quick Start program will be offered to students in grades one through four. This session will be July 28 to 31 and August 4 to 7. This section is designed to assist those students who have trouble adjusting to the new school year.

¢ Approved, 7-0, a request from LMS principal Kerry Brungardt to give a day off school on Friday, May 9, to those students who reach the Kansas State Building Standard of Excellence on at least two of the three tested areas. Teachers will use the day to work in their classrooms.

¢ Approved, 7-0, to add a new assistant softball coach. A record number of freshmen have gone out this year for the softball team and additional coaching is needed, said Steve Dike, LHS principal.

¢ Approved, 7-0, to extend the contract of Gary Mattingly, as K-12 activities director, for another year.

¢ Approved the following appointments: Katie Smith, head Lionette sponsor; Mike Williams, assistant baseball coach; Billy Dillon, assistant girls soccer coach; and Donna Layton, LHS cook.

¢ Approved the following resignations: Barbara Haag, LMS newspaper sponsor; Darryl Robertson, LMS crossing guard; Louis Mitchell, LHS crossing guard; and Steve Magner, LMS social sciences teacher.

¢ Heard a construction phase report from Dale Bohannon, director of maintenance/capital improvement.

On the new elementary school the following work is completed: 97 percent of the interiors, paint touch-up and miscellaneous tile, fire and intrusion systems, areas D and E floors have been cleaned, sealed and waxed and areas F and G floors have been prepared for sealing and waxing.

On the high school auditorium the following work is completed: ceiling grid installed in all areas, all lights installed, all painting complete and floors are being prepared for flooring.

¢ Met in executive session for 25 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel and negotiations.

¢ Heard a construction fund report from Bagby.

¢ Approved, 7-0, pay applications for construction.

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