Storm shelter funds granted
Basehor-Linwood school district has received a government grant to build a 1,200-person capacity storm shelter in its health and wellness facility.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted the district $849,038 for construction of a tornado safe room in the facility, on which construction will begin soon, Basehor-Linwood Superintendent David Howard announced at Monday’s school board meeting. The facility will be built in compliance with FEMA guidelines.
“This is great news for our district,” Howard said. “It’s not every day you get a grant for that much money from the federal government.”
Both of the district's new schools still under construction will have storm shelters, and the district presented the idea of the health and wellness center shelter to give high school students and staff a safe area. Howard began the process of applying for the grant last fall, which included writing a hazard mitigation plan for the school district.
The center itself will be used for strength and conditioning classes, physical education classes and athletic department activities and functions.
“I believe this will be a dual asset to the district,” Howard said. “It will not only serve as a fitness facility but also as a safe area for all our high school students and staff.”
The grant, which the board unanimously approved to accept at the meeting, will cover 75 percent of the projected costs to build the health and wellness center.
Howard said the project design still needed to be approved by FEMA, and once that happened, construction would begin on the building. Once the process has commenced, it must be completed within 27 months in accordance with FEMA. Howard said the district was hoping to open the health and wellness center for the 2010-2011 school year.
Also on Monday, the board:
• Discussed the city’s possible tax rebate program. Mayor Terry Hill, police chief and interim city administrator Lloyd Martley, building inspector Mark Lee and Basehor City Council member David Breuer were present at the meeting to present the program to the board. The program would allow new homeowners a rebate of 100 percent for three years and 50 percent for three years during the three-year duration of the program. The program would also offer a rebate of 80 percent for three years and 25 percent for three years for new commercial structure owners. Howard said the plan had merit, and the board would consider the plan at its next meeting.
• Received Board of Education policies GAF and KH for a first reading.
• Heard a report about enrollment from Assistant Superintendent Mike Boyd. The elementary schools have about 990 students between the three buildings, and 913 students are enrolled at the middle school and high school. A total of about 1,902 students will be on the campuses this year – up from approximately 1,860 last year – and the virtual school has 187 students. Boyd also reported this year’s freshman class grew by 23 students.
• Heard an inservice report from director of curriculum and instruction Sandra Guidry. She said the new teachers had been training and were excited to get into their classrooms.
• Heard a construction update from Chris Claflin. The Glenwood Ridge Elementary addition should be ready to go for school today. Progress is still being made on Linwood Elementary, and it should be finished by Sept. 1. Construction is moving along at both the intermediate school and middle school.
• Had a public hearing concerning the 2009-2010 budget. None of the board or audience members had questions or comments. The board then approved, 7-0, the budget as published Aug. 6 in the Sentinel.
• Approved, 7-0, to appoint an outside officer in the event of a teacher termination hearing.