Archive for Tuesday, December 15, 2015

USD 458 reviews plans for BLHS technical center, other construction

December 15, 2015

The Basehor-Linwood High School tech center is beginning to take shape — at least on paper.

Plans were unveiled at Monday night’s USD 458 Board of Education meeting and include a two-story addition and 23,000 square feet of usable space devoted to the new technology center. The board also later visited the school to examine the need for some unrelated construction.

First the board learned that technology center space will include areas dedicated to an industrial arts lab, broadcast studio, information technology and business classrooms, as well as an area to support health pathways. The health pathways classes include specialties such as certified nursing assistant and emergency medical technician, plus athletic training.

Construction of the center was approved by voters as part of the 2015 bond issue.

In other business, the board unanimously passed a resolution affecting the class of 2020 by adding a new graduation requirement. All students, beginning with that class, must complete one-half credit in public speaking. This added class will benefit the students as they enter the professional world and interview for jobs.

“That new requirement aligns with our strategic plan and help students learn how to conduct themselves and feel more comfortable as they speak in public,” Superintendent David Howard said.

The public speaking credit may be fulfilled by taking speech, debate, forensics or drama.

It was also announced at the meeting that school district will be saving $332,000 by refinancing 2007 bonds to a 2.65 percent interest rate. Since interest rates have hovered at historic lows for the last several months, the district was able to take advantage and save a significant amount of money.

Following the meeting, the board toured BLHS to review structural damage due to settling that the building has experienced since it was built 19 years ago. Howard said the damage was discovered four to six weeks ago, and the district since has met with architects, engineers and other structural experts.

The consensus was that the front of the building will need to be raised slightly and additional piers poured about every seven feet, at an estimated cost of at least $200,000.

“We really have no idea how much it will cost until it goes to bid,” Howard said. “We are hoping to have the work bid in the next month and the work completed this next summer.”

The repairs will be funded through capital outlay, and Howard said no other projects will be deferred or delayed in order to fund the repairs.


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