Archive for Saturday, September 21, 1996


September 21, 1996



The idea of placing the New York School building on historic registers first surfaced when district officials were planning for the building's recent renovation.

The Lawrence Preservation Alliance is spearheading the effort. LPA members have said the building is architecturally interesting and its construction during the 1930s is a key part of Lawrence's history.

School board members first considered the proposal at their June 24 meeting. District administrators said at that time that they were concerned the district would lose control of the building.

School board member Kerry Altenbernd said Thursday that he thinks it's a mistake to not proceed with historic designation for the building.

"It appears that we're not interested in preserving old buildings," he said.

And he said such designations could protect other buildings from the wrecking ball, including the oldest portion of Cordley School, which Altenbernd said is being considered for demolition. At that site, he said, preliminary plans call for constructing an addition that would include a library and classrooms.

Concerning the administration's stance on the New York building, he said, "It think it's a bad thing."

Bottom Line

School board members Monday night will debate whether to allow the Lawrence Preservation Alliance to seek historic designation for the New York School building, 936 N.Y.

District administrators are recommending against seeking the designation. Administrators are recommending, however, that any renovation of the building be done in consultation with the Lawrence Historic Resources Commission staff in order to give consideration to the building's architectural integrity. The administration also is asking the board to direct administrators to develop a policy regarding future considerations for historic registry.

"Placing schools on historical registries would subject the board's decision-making responsibility to review by other agencies, thus establishing a potential to infringe upon the board's ability to use a facility in the most efficient and effective manner," administrators said in their written recommendation.

Also on Monday, school board members will conduct a study session -- starting at 5:45 p.m. -- on a proposal to link school buildings with a computer network. At its Sept. 9 meeting, the board tabled consideration of the proposal until its members could conduct this study session. The computer network proposal also is on the agenda for Monday's regular board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.

Other business

  • Consider the consent agenda, which includes minutes of the Sept. 9 meeting, the treasurer's report, monthly vouchers, financial reports and personnel recommendations.
  • Recognize the West Junior High School Computer Programming Club, which recently won a $20,000 grand prize in a web page contest sponsored by Microsoft.
  • Recognize Linda Herbel, principal at Quail Run School, who recently won a $25,000 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.
  • Receive a book written by Lawrence resident Wayne Parks that is the first book for the Free State High School library.
  • Hear public comment.
  • Consider an administrative recommendation that the New York School building, 936 N.Y., not be placed on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.
  • Consider approval of assurances for special education, which is required to receive state and federal special education funding.
  • Consider a proposal to link school buildings with a computer network.
  • Consider a revised policy on alcohol, tobacco and other illegal substance use to ensure the policy complies with recent changes in state law.
  • Consider change orders for several school projects.
  • Consider approving a request to purchase about $57,100 worth of audio visual equipment for libraries and classrooms.
  • Consider approving a payment to Kelley Construction, Lawrence, for $9,500 worth of concrete work at Central and South junior high schools, as well as Centennial School.
  • Consider whether to authorize distribution of Douglas County Teen Info Pages, which contains information ranging from anger management to voting. It also includes a listing of community services. Plans call for distribution to ninth-graders at the city's four junior high schools. Funding for printing of the directory came from a grant from the Wesley Foundation and a donation from FMC Corp.
  • Hear a report by the Lawrence Business-Education Partnerships.
  • Hear a report from Lew Tilford on what funding the district provides for students in music programs.

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