Archive for Wednesday, July 29, 1998


July 29, 1998


Lawrence city commissioners decided against putting the brakes on development along Sixth Street.

Tuesday night, commissioners rejected Commissioner John Nalbandian's suggestion to place a moratorium on development along Sixth Street, from Wakarusa Drive to the South Lawrence Trafficway. The moratorium would have been lifted once the 1.25-mile stretch of Sixth Street was rebuilt to include four lanes, controlled access, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and lighting.

Nalbandian sold the issue as a safety issue -- saying that new commercial, office and retail areas could cause traffic problems -- but his fellow commissioners didn't buy it.

``I think that's excessive,'' Commissioner Erv Hodges said. ``We're going to have to study every project, or proposal, as they come down the line.''

The reconstruction of Sixth Street is estimated to cost $6.6 million, and city officials plan to ask the Kansas Legislature during the next legislative session to pick up the tab.

New floor set

for Holcom gym

The rubber at Holcom Recreation Center soon will give way to good old-fashioned wood.

Commissioners agreed to hire Sports Unlimited, for $56,980, to put in a new maple gym floor at Holcom, 2700 W. 27th. Officials hope to get the floor in before the city's recreational program starts up this fall.

The company's bid was the lowest of three submitted earlier Tuesday. Lankford Enterprises Inc. offered to handle the job for $67,850, while Acme Floor Co. Inc. would have put the floor in for $77,950.

All of the bids came in below the previous low offer of $115,829, as proposed by Penny Construction Co. earlier this month. Commissioners had rejected that bid, giving city officials a chance to rethink the project and ask for offers once again.

Staffers decided to separate portions of the project that flooring contractors typically are reluctant to take on. One such section, officials said, involves leveling off entry areas to match the new floor, which will be installed atop the existing rubber surface.

Downtown canopy

to get new roof

Part of a leaking canopy alongside a downtown parking lot will be getting a new roof, commissioners decided.

Commissioners agreed to hire Boone Brothers Roofing, for $31,083, to replace the southern portion of a canopy over a downtown alley. The block-long canopy runs along the alley between Massachusetts and Vermont streets, from Eighth to Ninth streets.

The city is responsible for maintaining the canopy, which is connected to buildings whose businesses run from Round Corner Drug, 801 Mass., to Bowen's Hallmark, 847 Mass.

Last year, the city hired Diamond Everly Roofing to handle the first third of the job: replacing the middle section of the canopy. That job cost about $25,000.

Next year, the city plans to replace the roof at the canopy's northern end.

``It provides protection for the (alley) storefronts and the downtown shoppers,'' said Steve Bennett, the city's building maintenance coordinator.

Bennett expects Boone Brothers to have its portion of the job finished by fall.

Senior center floor

to be refinished

The Lawrence Senior Center's multipurpose floor is set for a facelift.

Commissioners agreed to set a deadline of 2 p.m. Aug. 18 for bids to handle the job, which would refinish the wood floor in the second-floor multipurpose room at the center, 745 Vt.

The 2,160-square-foot floor has been scarred in recent years by gritty material used by dancers, said Larry Hamm, the city's rehabilitation projects coordinator. While the material since has been prohibited, the damage left behind still needs attention.

``It just needs to be refinished again,'' Hamm said. ``It's just an old floor.''

School beacons

set for pagers

The city's school zone beacons will be hooked onto a new paging system designed to improve management of traffic-control timing.

The $18,870 system, from Gades Sales Co., of Wichita, will give city officials the ability to turn beacons on and off depending on when they are needed, using a computer. Currently city crews must adjust each beacon manually, which can be a time-consuming process.

During spring break, holidays and even snow days, officials will be able to turn off beacons so that traffic would not be slowed unnecessarily to 20 mph.

Commissioners also agreed to spend $9,340 for new traffic counters and related supplies from Nu-Metrics.

Salvation Army

seeks homeless grant

The Salvation Army is asking the federal government for $200,000 to help homeless people find social services in Lawrence, and that's just fine with commissioners.

Commissioners decided that the grant request is consistent with the city's consolidated plan for housing services.

The finding adds weight to the Salvation Army's request for financing through the Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance program, which is run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lou Ann Lee, the city's housing program specialist, said the program attracted applicants from across the country. The Salvation Army in Lawrence wants to use the money to finance a three-year program to put homeless people in touch with existing services, such as DCCCA for alcohol counseling, Penn House for clothing and the LINK kitchen for food.

``It would help homeless people negotiate the services we have now,'' Lee said.

City OKs contracts

for public art

Commissioners approved contracts with local artists to create $149,000 worth of public art.

The four projects are part of the city's Percent for Art Program, which sets aside money from large construction projects to commission and buy public art. Previous examples include ``Confluence'' in Buford Watson Jr. Park and ``Mobility'' at the Union Pacific Depot.

Commissioners approved contracts for the following projects, described below in terms of art's locations, creators, costs to the city and a rundown of the work to be created and by when:

  • Prairie Park Nature Center, Jon Havener, $30,000, a brass-and-copper sculpture reflecting a fencelike wall of sculpted volumes that resemble grass structures. To be installed in March.
  • Lawrence-Douglas County Health Facility, Jan Gaumnitz and Cathy Tisdale, $24,000, a large, colorful ceramic mosaic mural with an emphasis on physical and spiritual healing, as well as the environment. To be installed in January.
  • Lawrence-Douglas County Health Facility, Steve Richardson, $65,000, a steel sculptural fountain inspired by solitude and serenity of a tree, with benches encircling the fountain. To be installed in January.
  • Lawrence Aquatic Center, Steve Smith, $30,000, a ceramic waterfall reflecting the movement and energy of activities at the pool. Installation date undetermined.

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