Archive for Thursday, January 22, 1998


January 22, 1998


— Schools in the DeSoto area will receive everything from new lockers to bigger parking lots, according to a five-year capital improvement plan.

The DeSoto school district will spend $3.34 million for 84 capital improvement projects in the next five years, according to a plan distributed this week.

"We've got a ton of stuff that needs to be done around here," said Denis Johnson, facilities director for the district.

The 19-page plan, which took Johnson four months to complete, does not include work on an addition to DeSoto High School or to two elementary schools currently under construction, or a new high school in the design stages.

"These are projects for our existing facilities," he said.

The work will be funded through the district's annual capital improvement budget.

The report, which calls for everything from new lockers to roof repairs and field lighting, is the first such long-range capital outlay plan for the district.

"In the past, they just kind of addressed projects as they came up," Johnson said. "This is the first time they've had a long-range plan."

The projects range in cost and scope from an estimated $3,000 to repair a road leading to a shed at the facility department this year, to $125,000 for resurfacing a parking lot and drive at a middle school in 2001-02.

The need for the improvements reflects the booming growth of the district, Johnson said.

"There's several neighborhoods in the DeSoto city limits going up now -- one of them has 300 homes in it," said Carol Farmer, community relations coordinator for the district.

The district includes the city of DeSoto, with a population of 2,475, and part of the city of Shawnee, which has a population of 40,470. The population of the district is about 10,000, Farmer said.

In 1987, there were 1,646 students in the district. The number was 2,404 in fall 1997. Enrollment projections for the next five years were unavailable.

The school board at its next meeting will be asked to vote on $561,500 for 22 projects scheduled for this year, including:

  • $70,000 in roof repairs and $90,000 in brick work for Lexington Trails Middle School.
  • $80,000 for track overlay at DeSoto High School.
  • $34,000 in roof repairs at Countryside elementary.
  • $25,000 in roof repairs at Woodsonia elementary.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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