The second high school approved today could be different tomorrow, a Lawrence school board member says.
A Lawrence school board member Monday said he was concerned that a second high school built for grades 10 through 12 eventually could house grades nine through 12.
But Lawrence School Supt. Al Azinger said it could require a considerable lack of foresight on the district's part to make such a change.
The school board Monday discussed its plans to hold a bond issue referendum for a second high school in November.
A school commission recommended in 1992 that once a second high school is built, ninth-graders should be moved to the high school level. However, a recent community survey showed considerable support for keeping ninth-graders at the junior high level.
Last week, five board members heeded that report and said they could support a second high school for grades 10 through 12.
But board member Tom Murray, who opposes any plans for a second high school, wondered what would prevent a future board from moving ninth-graders to the high school.
Azinger said that according to one legal opinion, the high school would have to house grades 10 through 12 when it opened if that's what the district advertised.
But after the first school year the configuration could be changed, Azinger said.
Murray said he was concerned that a future board might change the configuration. He said one plan might be to force the need for a third high school by moving ninth-graders to two high schools designed for grades 10 through 12.
Azinger said that given the district's other facility needs, such a move would require enormous imprudence on the part of the board.
"There will be a lot of other needs we will have to address ... before we address a third high school," Azinger said.
The board Monday also discussed the adequacy of present sports facilities if Lawrence moves to two high schools.
Azinger said officials at Haskell Indian Nations University have assured him that its stadium could accommodate two high school football teams. However, it wouldn't be feasible for both high school teams and Haskell to have home games during the same week.
Board member Renee Karr said the district should make sure the Sunflower League, which schedules LHS football games, is aware of the district's situation.