The Lawrence school board Monday took a big step in the construction of two new schools by selecting general contractors for the projects.
Rinner Construction of Topeka will be the general contractor for Prairie Park School, the school east of Lawrence Prairie Park that will replace India School.
Mohan Construction of Topeka will be the general contractor for the still unnamed elementary school being built southwest of Clinton Parkway and Inverness Road.
Both firms were the low bidders for their respective contracts. The board votes were unanimous.
In this year's $29.9 million bond issue, $4.5 million was slated for the southwest elementary school, which will have three classes per grade level. Prairie Park School, which will have two classes per grade level, was listed as a $3.2 million project.
However, some money has been transferred from the southwest school to Prairie Park School to provide "parity between the two schools," said Grant Ackerman of Universal Construction, which is helping the district oversee the projects.
The budget for Prairie Park School is now $3.3 million, and the budget for the southwest school is $4.3 million.
Ackerman said the transfer will help ensure that such things as doors and interior finishes at both schools meet the same standards.
"You'll see the same quality in both schools," he said.
After bids were received, district officials negotiated with the low bidders to reduce the contract amounts somewhat. The final contract amounts were slightly below what the district had budgeted for the general contractors.
The general contract total of $3,136,135 for the southwest school allows the district $900 more for contingency beyond the $75,000 that had been set aside.
The general contract total of $2,645,323 for Prairie Park School allows the district $5,781 more for contingency beyond the $64,000 that had been set aside.
The schools are scheduled to open in August 1994.
In other business Monday, the board:
-- Tabled the naming of a new elementary school and a new junior high school being built in southwest Lawrence. Three board members have yet to submit their preferences from a list of possible school names.
-- Heard from Douglas County Dist. Atty. Jerry Wells on legislation he has proposed that would make it a crime in some instances for minors to possess firearms.
-- Approved spending $46,991 for Apple computers.
-- Received a report on 1993-94 staffing from Bill Wilson, the district's director of human resources.
-- Received an update on the work of the district's Boundary Committee.
-- Gave formal support to Lawrence's participation in the 1994 Kids Voting Kansas program. Students districtwide were allowed to accompany their parents to the polls when Lawrence took part in the 1992 Kids Voting program. The Journal-World was the local sponsor of the 1992 program and will sponsor the 1994 program as well.
-- Renewed the district's errors and omissions insurance policy with Charlton Manley.