Archive for Tuesday, January 8, 1991


January 8, 1991


— The architectural firm hired to draw up plans for DeSoto's April school bond election presented preliminary ideas to the school board Monday night.

Kirk Horner, of Hollis & Miller, described the three concepts developed by the firm, although he stressed that a new plan could be formed by combining parts of each concept.

Concept A featured building a new elementary school for grades kindergarten through six, converting the existing high school into a new junior high school for grades seven and eight, transforming the existing junior high school into an alternative education center, and building a new high school for grades nine through 12 near the converted high school.

Concept B called for additions or renovations in all DeSoto schools and moving the ninth grade class from the junior high to the high school.

CONCEPT C included additions and renovations at all elementary schools, a new junior high school for grades seven through nine, converting the junior high school into an alternative education center, and additions and renovations at the high school.

Horner said Concept A would free up elementary school classroom space, which could be used for special programs, such as computer labs or special education.

He said Concept B would encounter difficulties in renovating the junior high school, which was built in 1918.

"There's some things that would require almost a gutting and rebuilding," he said. "The biggest problem is adding on to that site when there's not much space."

Concepts A and C would place the junior high school and high school in the same area, which would save the district money because students could share playing fields, a track and other expensive additions, Horner said.

A 72-acre site next to the existing high school would accommodate a new school now and possibly an elementary school in the future, he said.

ALL THREE concepts should accommodate district growth to the same extent, Horner said, adding that specific details including costs of the three plans will be determined next week.

The school board will hold public meetings to explain the three options from 8 a.m. to noon on Jan. 19 at DeSoto City Hall and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 22 at Woodsonia Elementary School.

Supt. Glenn Coltharp said the board hopes to get input from the community on which elements in the plans are preferred.

"Each concept has bits and pieces that could be put together like a puzzle in a Concept D," he said.

The board will hold a special meeting Jan. 29 to decide the final option.

IN OTHER business at Monday's meeting, board members:

Heard an art education report from the junior high and high school art teachers.

Discussed the district in-service day, which was held Wednesday.

Approved participation in the Close-Up Kansas program, a three-day seminar in Topeka that teaches students about state government.

Discussed methods for concealing a new heating and cooling unit, which was constructed larger than anticipated, at the high school.

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