Citing the valuable services of the Kansas Association of School Boards, the Lawrence school board Monday voted 4-2 to continue its KASB membership despite an 82 percent increase in dues to help pay for KASB's new $2.8 million headquarters.
The board's 1993-94 membership dues will be $13,145, up from $7,228 this school year. The higher dues are expected to continue for the next three years, the period in which KASB would like to pay off the mortgage on its new headquarters.
In December, the KASB began using a building that it purchased at 1420 Arrowhead in Topeka.
Board member Mary Loveland said Monday that she had visited the building since April 12, when the board tabled action on continuing KASB membership.
"It's clearly more modern architecture than a lot of other buildings you would see in this state," Loveland said. Still, Loveland said it was important for the school board to "participate in an organization that endeavors to lobby for important school-related issues."
Board member Harriet Shaffer agreed, saying that if the board discontinued its membership, "we wouldn't have any impact on the KASB. I wouldn't like for us to take away from any sense of being part of the state."
BOARD MEMBER Tom Murray recognized the value of the KASB's legal services but said that didn't warrant continuing membership. Murray said a visit to the building indicated to him that the KASB had bought more space than it needed.
"The main thing I didn't see was a lot of people in the building," Murray said. "In fact, much of the building was a tomb."
Murray noted that the Kansas Bar Assn. lobbies on behalf of lawyers statewide with only 9,000 square feet of headquarters space, considerably less than the 39,000 square feet in the KASB headquarters.
Loveland said she wondered if the KASB could lease any office space that it wasn't using.
Board member Jerry Hannah also voted against renewing membership.
"I cannot support taxpayers' money and money coming out of our budget for that building," Hannah said.
Board member Alice Fowler was not present.
The vote also was to pay $500 to continue membership in the KASB legal assistance fund.
IN OTHER business Monday, the board:
Voted 4-1 against an administrators' recommendation to accept a bid from Cloud Heating and Air Conditioning for new heating units and air conditioning for East Heights and Sunset Hill schools.
Another bidder, Chaney Incorporated, had not met all specifications with its bid. However, some board members felt that poor communication had led Chaney to believe it had made a proper bid. The school board directed administrators to redo the bidding on the project.
Board member Mary Loveland voted against rebidding, and Murray abstained from voting because of a business-related conflict of interest.
Approved purchasing $30,011 worth of computer equipment from Apple Computer Inc. The purchase will provide six computers for curriculum coordination and other computers for fifth- and sixth-graders to learn "keyboarding" skills. The purchase also will allow for the expansion of Lawrence High School's writing lab.
The expenditure is part of the $380,000 that the Technology Advisory Committee has advised spending on computer technology for 1993-94.
Received an update from Craig Fiegel, the district's director of business and facilities, on the building projects stemming from the district's $29.9 million bond issue.
Received an update from Fiegel on the district's budget.
Received a report from Hillcrest School Principal Bob Arevalo on the school's Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which will include garden plots for Hillcrest classes to work in, will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Held an executive session on land purchase, negotiations and personnel.