Archive for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

School board plans bond campaign

January 11, 2005


The longer voters put off passing a bond issue, the more expensive the price tag will be.

That's what Lawrence school board President Leni Salkind said after Monday night's school board meeting. She and fellow board member Sue Morgan volunteered at the meeting to help on a citizens' committee that will promote the bond issue, which will have two questions.

"I think the things we're trying to do are long overdue," Salkind said of the improvements the April bond issue would make. "We're playing catch-up. The more you put it off, the bigger the project is."

The first question of the bond issue would provide up to $54.1 million to add on to and improve the junior highs and high schools; demolish South Junior High School and build a school to replace it; expand and renovate Broken Arrow School; and make other necessary and related improvements.

The second question would provide up to $8.9 million to buy, build and install new and upgraded computer and communication technology.

The board is scheduled to officially adopt the final language of the election resolution and bond issue questions at its Jan. 24 meeting. Supt. Randy Weseman said he did not expect the content or amount of the bond issue to change.

District voters rejected a $59 million bond issue in April 2003 that would have made improvements at 15 schools.

Had the board proposed that same bond issue for this April, it would cost about $18 million more, Salkind said. That's because building material prices have increased, she said.

"To put off these kinds of improvements means we'll pay more when we finally get to it," she said.

The campaign for the bond issue will include things like committee members speaking to community groups about the need for the bond issue, Salkind said. The campaign will also advertise to promote the bond issue. In the past, this advertising has included brochures and posters, she said.

District administrators and nonelected personnel can provide information about the bond issue but are not allowed to promote or discourage the bond issue.

In other business Monday, the school board voted unanimously to:

  • approve a more than $10,000 contract between Southwest Junior High School and Herff Jones Co. to produce the school's 2006 yearbook. Students pay a fee for the yearbook.
  • approve paying more than $29,000 for an annual software support fee.
  • accept an audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004.

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