In order to meet new regulations of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, school board members agreed Monday to remove all the underground heating oil tanks in the district.
The new state regulations for underground fuel storage tanks (or USTs) stem from concerns that such tanks will leak their contents, possibly into groundwater supplies. Tanks installed before 1965 are of particular concern, and all of the Lawrence schools' eight USTs were installed before 1965. Most, in fact, were installed in the early 1950s.
The eight heating oil USTs are scattered throughout the district at school buildings. It will cost about $1,000 to remove each tank, depending on whether they are buried beneath pavement that would have to be replaced.
John Kapfer, director of maintenance for the district, told the board members that the district hasn't used any heating oil from the storage tanks for over 15 years, with the exception of the one UST at Lawrence High School.
The board agreed on Monday to have all of the tanks removed this summer, but also agreed to replace the UST at Lawrence High School with an above-ground tank. Kapfer said he preferred having some sort of backup source of heating oil at LHS, because there are sometimes problems with low gas pressure when it is very cold in that part of town.
Also on Monday, the board:
Heard a report from the district's auditor, Bob Schehrer, who said that with the exception of a minor problem with one of the schools' petty cash funds and a couple of minor errors in the federal money fund, the district's books are in good shape.
Approved a $57,302 purchase contract for food and non-food items for the district's school lunch program.