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Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New sports facilities OK’d

Residents voice concern about plan

Neighbors of the Lawrence School District and Lawrence High School made their arguments for and against the proposed athletic fields at LHS and Free State High School.

September 17, 2008

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After hours of back and forth between supporters and detractors of the Lawrence school district's proposal to build new sports facilities at Lawrence High School, the City Commission voted to pass the plan, with several amendments to the district's proposal.

The school district once again laid out its plan, which would add fields for football, baseball, softball and soccer, as well as new tennis courts to be built at Centennial School just south of LHS. More parking spots would keep students safe because they wouldn't have to cross busy streets.

Mary Rodriguez, the district's chief operations officer, said a chief issue is the inequity of facilities at LHS and Free State High School.

"There is a need to address the outdoor inequity" of facilities for both schools, and boys and girls sports, she said.

A similar plan to upgrade facilities at Free State was also on the table and passed without much discussion.

The proposal for the LHS athletic fields was approved 4-1, with Commissioner Boog Highberger opposed. The proposals for Centennial School and Free State passed unanimously.

Rodriguez said the proposal would save money in the long run. Right now, she said, the district pays $80,000 to use facilities like Haskell Stadium, as well as transporting students to and from events. In the next five years the district would save at least $400,000. The plan to use artificial turf would also cut expenses for maintaining fields, which would help pay for the proposal.

Rodriguez also presented an event calendar, in an effort to appease neighbors' fears that many events would bring heavy traffic and blast noise and light into the area. The fields would be vacant for about seven months of the year.

Opponents of the project, primarily residents of the Centennial and University Place neighborhoods near LHS, said the school district hadn't sought enough input from neighbors. They say traffic will increase, noise and light pollution will blight the neighborhood, and they worry about the impact of the new facilities on water drainage.

"If you want to kill a neighborhood, this is the way to do it," said one neighbor.

The district agreed to move the football stadium 75 feet away from the homes of neighbors in order to comply with the city code. The initial plans had placed the football stadium only 55 feet away from homes.

While many in the audience, as well as Mayor Mike Dever, voiced concerns about building two separate football stadiums, rather than one district stadium, the proposal passed.

The plan now goes to the school board, which will vote on it Monday.

Commissioners agreed that the school district has a responsibility to be a good neighbor, thus asking the district to move the stadium back 20 feet from property lines. However, Commissioner Rob Chestnut said it was the commission's responsibility to ensure the district's plans are up to code.

"The fact is comments regarding equity, financial wherewithal, (the) district stadium ... are not in the jurisdiction of this body," he said.

Tom Bracciano, the district's division director of operations and facility planning, said the district wants to break ground on the football and soccer fields Oct. 9, and hopes to have the LHS baseball stadium complete by spring.

Comments

spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

Mayor Dever bears no small responsibility in this wantonrollover to the school board while ignorinig city codes.he himself asked why two stadiums?we need new commissioners that have some degree of respect for the community.vote accordingly next spring

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

the project also violates City Code in that the softball fields are certainly athletic fields which are recommended to have a 75 foot setback to residential areas.the proposal wrongly approved setbacks of only 55 and 54 feet approximately - again wrong and a circumvention of the city code. who is this new planning director that sits like a bump on a log and ignores the code?was he hired as a yes man?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

the commissioners rubber stamped it as expected.unfortunately the City of Lawrence zoning codes were ingnored and the proposal provides only about 57% of the required parking for the football stadium while it violates a code requirement that speaker boxes be 100 feet minimum from a residential property.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

jafsYes, and the question remains why do we need two high school football stadiums?

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offtotheright 5 years, 7 months ago

So let me get this straight. You want the Sports fields in Lawrence to be just like Johnson County, but nothing else?

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jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

The point remains that there are probably a variety of other things that this money could have been spent on rather than new athletic facilities.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

ask the school board at their monday meetingwhere the money is coming from?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

doesn't come close to meeting the parking requirements !

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

the circumvention of required codes was pointed out in the City Commission meeting by Steve Padget and by Gwen Klingenberg. Commissoner Highberger agreed with Mr. Padget that the U S E definition is different thansubmitted by the school district and therefore would require 1,333 parking spaces.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

main problem is that the City of Lawrence has circumvented the required code review for the LHS project.No traffic study was completed IF the football stadium is as claimed a recreational facility.And Special Use Permits are required to have greater public scrutiny and review periods than were given to this submittal.

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macon47 5 years, 7 months ago

folks it is all smoke and mirrorsusd 497 will have picked your pocket cleanand you wont even notice it,you will "feel" it of coursebut they will just pull a slick willy on you

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

Shoffner: My comments to you before, and now, remain around your idiotic declaration: "ANY entity can transfer and reassign monies to be used in ANY budget" Many others on these boards have argued similar arguments, proposing that the capital "leftover" be used for operations, such as teachers salaries. It is you who can not defend your idiotic statement.But obviously you have figured out that your statement is blatantly wrong and not supported by Kansas law, and you now propose using the leftover for capital issues. That works. Congratulations. You don't go to jail today.Hardly an attack Shoffner, to make you defend your own idiotic statement.

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

Hey jerk_p:Way to resort to a personal attack! That's how you'll get what you want.Hey everyone! Jerk_P is going to personally harass you for the $11 million dollars.Please, enlighten us all with your solution to the LPS financial woes, especially the $11 million elementary maintenance backlog.Finally, I ask you, how is my argument changing? Because I use different words to say the same thing? Let me spell it out for you again (get your Thesaurus and Dictionary): The LPS could have used this $2.4 million "leftover" (tax) money to do repairs/upgrades in elementary schools. Instead, they are caving, once again, to outside politics, instead of doing what is truly the best for all the children in the district.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 7 months ago

what?no comment, no 58-comments, from coaltrain/spiderman/cool???he must've been disappeared, or else he's in deep mourning!

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shepdog 5 years, 7 months ago

Sports facilities for a high school should be on campus if it is at all possible. This is a no brainer!!! It is 2008.When a company or a family is considering moving to town don't you think they look at sports facilities for their children? Helloooo! What percentage of the neighborhood is already rental property?? Its pretty close to K.U. also. I would think that has more of an influence then the noise in the neighborhood. This project is long overdue and needs to be expedited!!!

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

Shoffner: your changing the argument does not change the fact that Kansas law specifically prohibits what you suggested above. It is you who declared to us your own "budget experience." You remain the idiot.

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually jerk_p: I didn't need to search a dang thing. I have read, multiple times, that there is an $11 MILLION MAINTENANCE BACKLOG for the elementary schools. Enough stated, in my opinion, as to why this money can be better spent.Great message to the Lawrence Youth: "We care about you, (once you get in high school and play outdoor athletics)"Really, I read some of these comments and it is no wonder the financial market is the way it is. Some people of the couple generations before mine just don't get that money isn't free.And finally jerk_p: Would that $2.4 million "leftover" money not be tax money?Thank you for helping illustrate my points further. It is appreciated.Now a question for you. Lawrence builds/upgrades whatever they are doing, currently estimated at $2.8 million dollars. There is still the original backlog of $11 million at the elementary schools, and it is getting costlier every day. Where are you (pretend that you can make that decision) going to get that $11 million for the elementary schools?Let me guess: 2009 Elementary Schools Bond Issue?

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repaste 5 years, 7 months ago

How about the cars driving on the side walk by free state to park? Can they fix that first?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

really it's OK pretty muchexcept that artificial turf is toxic & wasteful + that the football stadium should be at Free State or a new location.two football stadiums is simply being wasteful.

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oldschoolgirl 5 years, 7 months ago

Sad that they claim this will be an improvement to the area. How will more traffic and noise make more people want to live in the area? Let those people that want it, live in the area and listen to the traffic, and noise. I don't see them wanting it in their neighborhood. They are living in houses far away from the problems this will create. Spend money on things all students can enjoy instead of just the jocks and their overprotective parents.I don't hear anyone complaining about all of the students leaving for lunch everyday and the chance of an accident then but oh we worry that someone will have an accident going to a game???? Double standards are everywhere.

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

shoffner: Several news articles have identified $2.4 of the source as being left over from capital improvement bonds. Use your search button.

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commuter 5 years, 7 months ago

I am confused. I watched the public opinion until it ended.Scott Morgan made a public comment and he said no matter what the commission decides tonight, there is still a long way to go on this process.About an hour later, the commission was talking about the football stadium and asked Tom Braccino what is their timing. Tom stated they plan to start construction by Oct. 9th.Did anyone else hear this? If so, who is lying. A lawyer (Scott Morgan) or Tom?

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Pilgrim 5 years, 7 months ago

saoirseglen (Anonymous) says:What I do not want is the sprawling traffic snarl akin to KU games coming to my street because of new facilities which are being build in an older residential area with streets not able to handle the increase in traffic.*****Sure thing, pal. You just let us know when 55,000 people start showing up at LHS games.

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

Jerk_patrol:Show me where this money was appropriated for the schools facilities vs. where it was appropriated for operations. That is my deal. This money is approprited from NOWHERE!!! This school district does not have this money!Please Jerk, show me where the Lawrence School District has budgeted this 2.3 million dollars at. Can you? Can anyone? I can. The Lawrence School District and City are expecting the taxpayers to foot this bill.

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

What I meant for this line was: "ANY entity can transfer and reassign monies to be used in ANY budget." (Within their entity)

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

HWY50:I am calling you out on that. COMPLETE BS!ANY entity can transfer and reassign monies to be used in ANY budget.Worked at KU Recreation Services doing the Intermural Fields Maintenance and Budget. So I have experience with both budgets and working turf.It is an ABSOLUTE MYTH that an artifical field will GREATLY reduce maintenance concerns for said field. Google some things about natural grass vs. artifical turf and be enlightened. Artificial turf will save SOME money, but not the millions of dollars that some of you think it will.Talk about needing to learn how stuff really works before posting ignorant comments.

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consumer1 5 years, 7 months ago

Hwy50, how convenient. So, the money that is used to build new facilities does not come from the tax payers? See, even if it comes from the state, I believe it is still the taxpayers who are footing the bill. It doesn't matter which budget it comes out of, it still comes from the taxpayers. so consume fecis and expire.

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Prairielander 5 years, 7 months ago

I think most undertand that there is a difference between "facilities money" and "salaries", but that doesn't answer the question of where this facilities money is coming from. Is it left over from the last bond issue? If there is enough money for these projects, is there more?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

saoirseglen (Anonymous) says:indeed --- if they were so concerned about safety why don't they take away the 'economic status' fees for drivers education and make it free for all studentsso that those with less money could still take the class?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

from a friend: The 'schoolbots' 4 votes> > I saw that the thing went down.> > I suspected it would with three former jocks and a former> cheerleader on the Kommission.> > They have funny priorities, don't they?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

$14 million is the number that i heard for this.....$2.5 mil and change is held over in captial fund.Bracciano is going to borrow the rest from AIG?

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Hwy50 5 years, 7 months ago

For those of you who continue to believe that funding for salaries and facilities come from the same source, please learn how it really works before posting your ignorant comments. Money that can be used to build facilities such as these cannot be used to pay salaries.

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macon47 5 years, 7 months ago

why dont all you parents and jocks withbig mouths and shiney ideas, show up with yourcheck books open or shut up ?

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tanaumaga 5 years, 7 months ago

do the math on maintaining a natural grass field(man hours in mowing and lining, fuel for mower, fertilizer, etc...) compared to turf(considering that it will need replacement in x amount of years) and replacing turf will always win out....which one is safer than the other? that is the question

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

So Merrill really isn't for all schools..... just the fancy new ones.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

With $2.3 million of USD 497 tax dollars involved this matter should have been on the ballot in November. Now will all of the supporters be screaming about a tax increase to cover operations and maintenance? Replacement of the bogus turf in a few years?

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Bud Stagg 5 years, 7 months ago

For those of you who never get out and see the surrounding communities, our sports facilities are a slum by comparison. This move has been long overdue. Bozo and the rest, is there anything you agree with? Can you help us to move ahead instead of complaining all the time? I suppose with every positive move, there has to be a negative comment.I believe that sports enhance a students experience and do make most of them better students. Good move commission! Way to be a non-factor Boog! Do you ever vote FOR anything?

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saoirseglen 5 years, 7 months ago

USD 497 has a history of noncompliance with city codes and regulations., especially within my neighborhood.Those who welcome game days and all the chaos can have all they want, but please keep it in your neighborhoods. I have no desire to increase the chaos in mine.Also, if the school district was so concerned about student safety, why do they let them off campus for lunch and more? Or is it that they just don't want to rent needed facilities when they can boondoggle funds for development that will only be used a few times a year?If the school has the money for this sports complex project they evidently have more than enough money already for everything they have to pay for. This means they need no new funds for anything, right?

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Prairielander 5 years, 7 months ago

Hummer Sports Park in Topeka was built into a primarily residential neighborhood. I have to applauder the School Board for making use of exiting (owned) property rather than looking to purchase new undeveloped property on the periphery of the community.Now some others (including several commissioners) have rightly questioned the expense and I wonder where all the money will come from (does USD497 just have millions sitting around in some slush fund?), but that is not the concern of the City Commission. Their only concern is the conformance to code and impact on the neighbors. Living in OWL and dealing with KU football game traffic, lights and noise, I think the impact will be negligible and maybe even a positive. I greatly enjoy game days.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

The Centennial Neighborhood Association Steering Committee met last evening and spent considerable time discussing the Lawrence High School Athletic facilities expansion. I am sharing with you a few decisions made by the Steering Committee at that time. The Steering Committee is strongly opposed to the current development as it is proposed by the School District . Please see the attached flyer for more specific facts. The Steering Committee believes that he developments will reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood and be overly intrusive. This is especially true for neighbors near LHS, but also for the rest of us as well. Imagine the sound level of the announcers in Allen Field house during a basketball game in your backyard and you begin to get the picture.This message is sent to you because the City Commission will be deciding next Tuesday, September 16th, whether this development should go forward. The Steering Committee is asking you to get involved. It is critical that we support our neighbors near the school and the neighborhood in general. Please review the attached flyer. To help you should: 1) Call, write, or email all of the city commissioners to express your concern about the development. The attached flyer lists many of the points of concern. 2) Attend the City Commission meeting on the 16th. If you feel confident, participate in the public input part of the meeting. Most important is for you to show up and support your neighbors.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

this summer i talked to some of the WESTARemployees installing the new utility poles along 19th street.those are 75 ft. wooden poles with 60 feet above ground.The district is proposing 90 ft. high light poles.Remember back in May & June when Mr. Bracciano told us at public meetings that these facilities were 'practice fields'?Now they have exhibition game lighting, sound, permanent bleachers, restroom buildings, concession & vending areas, etc.And of course many of us wondered why do practice fields after all have to have costly artificial turf?Finally,Also remember when Mr. Bracciano told us that after a few years a single district stadium would be built to replace these practice fields?Why are we ruining a central neighborhood(s) including University Place with further inadequate parking & traffic?

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

letsgetwisethe answer?we do expect the city code to be used to provide adequate parking for the use generated by concentratinga large 4000 seat stadium in an existing neighborhood.for starters / adequate parking is not being provided.only about 57% of what the code requires.setbacks are also not being observed. there is a code section requiring speaker boxes to be100 feet from residential properties / not 75 feet.and finally there is the cost - do we need two stadiums?

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saoirseglen 5 years, 7 months ago

I can handle the existing noise and existing traffic. The former I only notice when I am outside of my home and the existing tennis court is not bad, though I do hear it. The traffic, given the time that it overlaps with when I leave for work and return home I can handle.What I do not want is the sprawling traffic snarl akin to KU games coming to my street because of new facilities which are being build in an older residential area with streets not able to handle the increase in traffic.Again, under the current situation there is minimal or tolerable levels of bother. With this new plan the schools want to bother residential area residents and have no real intent to obey the same city codes that the residents have to abide by.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

dear mom of threefor starters Haskell Stadium was designed with large setbacks to adjacent properties.not 75 feet.

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mom_of_three 5 years, 7 months ago

bd,there are issues with building around YSI, which have been mentioned before. And even though that would be a great solution, it still wouldn't solve the problem of equity between the schools. I think the residents are over-reacting to sports facilities near their homes. You are looking at August - late October that outside sports would be played there, and then February through May. Very few games are late at night, and you might have a track meet and soccer game at the same time, so a few more cars, but big deal. Out of town visitors to the track means more money for businesses. Funny thing is, I haven't heard any complaints from Haskell neighbors about the football games, and they have three schools playing at the facility at the moment.

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letsgetwise 5 years, 7 months ago

saoirseglen: While I understand and can even agree with the frustration with the issue of salaries for teachers vs. money for sports facilities, my question to "neighbors" of LHS is do you not expect there to be noise, traffic, parking issues, etc. when you live so close to the school? We lived across the street from the high school I went to. There was noise, traffic, too many cars going way too fast, and parking everywhere. There were kids constantly coming and going and activities "all the time". We knew this was to be expected living next to the high school. I am not talking about anything over and above the law, I'm simply saying we knew this neighborhood was definitely going to have more of all of the above, than say the streets further away from the school.

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jerk_patrol 5 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

a major question that the 'schoolbots' refused to answer?how much does this all cost?Bracciano 'says' ...that he is ready to 'dig'on october 9,2008.dear john q. public - how much?

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bd 5 years, 7 months ago

Have any of you seen the facilities at Hummer Park in Topeka, talk about doing something right!Build a multi-purpose/multi-use district facility SW off the bypass near the other ballfields, easy access with room to grow!

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Jackson 5 years, 7 months ago

Look for SALE signs on houses near LHS & CENTENNIAL VS soon.The immediate neighborhood will change from owner-occupied to rental property. Does the city or 497 care? No, but taxpayers will when it becomes a student slum.

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

kujhawkfanthe district doesn't need two stadiums, Mayor Dever said that.the opposition is not entirely directed at sports improvements but rather at gross misallocation ofschool funds by the 'sportsfans' as shoffner aboveilluminated.the schoolbots are directed by Darth Weseman.

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kujhawkfan 5 years, 7 months ago

If you people are worried about noise and traffic why in the world would you live by a high school in the first place? Lawrence High School was built in 1954, so there has been noise and parking problems for over 50 years. You people have a solution if you are so worried about traffic and noise, don't live next to a high school!

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spiderman 5 years, 7 months ago

it's not OKAY.A petition to R E C A L L Sue Hack needs to happen sooner rather than wait. She & the 'schoolbots' hijacked the City Codes last nite.it's not OKAYyoutube videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF9UB_...

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saoirseglen 5 years, 7 months ago

I already hear tennis matches well past midnight when I am outside my home from the existing tennis courts. I am two blocks away from those courts on Greever Terrace. I already have a single lane one way street, effectively, due to the high school student drivers who park on my street Monday through Friday.All this is going to do is make trying to get in and out of my driveway, let alone down my street, even more of a nightmare. It also means that I will have noisy events across the street from me until past 10 p.m. that I will hear inside my home. I will also have to deal with traffic volume that far exceeds what a narrow residential street can handle along with every street that parallels or intersects with it anywhere close to the fields. I already know what a KU game day looks like and that is just the traffic going onto the campus. I have no desire to live in the middle of it.Point of fact, the noise of traffic on 23rd street is less, while I am standing outside my home, than the tennis courts are at the same time of night.I really don't see the benefit of adding the sports fields, and I played sports in high school. This is the same garbage that I heard from the administration when I was in school. The lesson being taught is that sports will always be more important than academics. Schools will find money to keep their pet sports programs alive even while their academics go downhill.Refresh my memory please. Was this school district not just asking for more funding with which to pay teachers higher salaries? And yet they have all this money to build new sports facilities?From now on it is voting down every request for additional funding they put on the ballot.

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northtown 5 years, 7 months ago

New locker rooms included???Or is this just the begining?Good Luck Lawrence,just bend over and have it put to you!!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 7 months ago

justaverage, there will be a third high school and LHS will continue to be in the wrong place, and yes, "not_holroyd" this is the 3billionth and one more time. LHS improvements are money down the drain, it is in the wrong place now, last year and for years to come.KU will just love their new facility 20years from now.

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bd 5 years, 7 months ago

Why not one central complex like Topeka and Johnson County??????

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justaverage 5 years, 7 months ago

I know some teachers who would be bad teachers no matter how much money they made. I would like for the teachers in USD 497 to be the highest paid teachers in the state. In so doing and if it were up to me, their performance would be audited each year and those who are not performing would not have their contracts renewed.Throwing money into education doesn't always work. Efficient use of money and resources does work. I think building sports facilities at each of our high schools is an efficient use of money and resources. If/when we build a third high school, all aspects of the facilities need to be included in the budget from the start.

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macon47 5 years, 7 months ago

usd497 doesnt have any moneythey dont have enought to pay teachersbut just enough to pay admininstrators like mary and tomhow will usd497 pay for this?with your money,thats how get a grip on your walleti wish these parent jockswould pony up some moneyinstead of just shooting their mouths off

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually Hepburn, you are wrong.I graduated from Free State in 2004 and had many friends that attended Lawrence High. My biggest concern was, and still is, the lack of well-paid, quality teachers in our classrooms.Yes, I was an athlete: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2003/mar/02/free_states_shoffner/And believe me, go look at the "wrestling" (see: multi-purpose) rooms of these schools and tell me they aren't a joke to train in.However, there are far more pressing issues than accommodating the vast minority of students who participate in these events.The school district should be working to accommodate ALL kids in the district for LEARNING purposes.Sure football may teach 75 young men a little discipline, but our society is going to be better off in my opinion if the 400 kids that graduate every year can read, write, do basic math and have some social skills.It's not that they are building sports facilities. It is that this district has consistently shown that it's focus IS NOT on the student-learner, but rather pandering to political pressure. Special education, WRAP/Burt Nash, theatre, music and art are just as important as sports.

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CNA_Resident 5 years, 7 months ago

We support Tom Bracciano, and the over 1.5 million-dollar modifications the school district has made to alleviate the concerns of school border home-owners; seven of whom, by the way, also support the modified plans for this much-needed and long-overdue improvement to Lawrence High School. We live one block away from LHS, and for what it's worth, are co-founders of our neighborhood association.We know how much hard work (twelve years, folks!) has been done to bring this proposal to fruition, and we also know the Centennial Neighborhood will be so much better for families to start moving back in and remodeling this modest housing stock in order to be closer to a really great high school.

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BigAl 5 years, 7 months ago

Hepburn.... 100% correct. It is about time.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

The rubberstamp commission comes through again.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 7 months ago

shoffner (Anonymous) says:Lawrence Cultural Myth Number One: Education is valued.Lawrence Cultural Reality Number One: Sports are way more important.Ridiculous.*******Sports ARE part of the education process, dim bulb."On average, athletes were absent fewer days from school per year than non-athletes and athletes earned a significantly higher cumulative grade point average than their non-athlete peers. A significant statistical difference was also found in the tenth grade FCAT test scores in both reading and mathematics for athletes and non-athletes when eighth grade FCAT test scores in reading and mathematics were used as co-variates. Athletes earned significantly higher Grade 10 FCAT test scores in both reading and mathematics than non-athletes. Although cause and effect cannot be inferred from this study, the findings do indicate the potentially beneficial value of athletic programs in public secondary education."http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3126425/

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 7 months ago

Wrong, shoffner!Expenditures for sports facilities once isn't selling out to sports. In comparison to Lawrence's peer districts, this is a modest, yet tardy action. For the first time, the schools will be in control of their outdoors activities and not dependent on the whim of others.Participation in extracurricular activities is directly related to academic success. This promotes education rather than detracting from it.Is it your desire that the school district never own their facilities? Or that the district never spend anything that develops sports? In my nearly 40 years in this community, this is the first time high school sports facilities have been developed.

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shoffner 5 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence Cultural Myth Number One: Education is valued.Lawrence Cultural Reality Number One: Sports are way more important.Ridiculous.

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nucleardude 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you city commissioners (minus the one anti-Lawrence/growth/progress/youth) for making a very wise decision based on the facts and research presented by the city staff. It is good to hear some acknowledge areas they need the guidance of professionals who understand situations, codes, etc. instead of strictly going against Lawrence. The additional points in making the decision can be working into the details of the project to the beneifit of all. It is interesting the same opposition comments as we heard for the Kasold improvements. Hmmm, I wonder who prompts the neighbors on advice for going against the city. Some of the comments from neighbors were reasonable for discussion, others bordered on the absurd. Centenial school is gone, get over it. This is such a huge positive for the neighborhood. Yes, I do have a home in centenial neighborhood a block and a half from the school. I look for the neighborhood to improve. The facts are the neighborhood has been adversely affected by student housing and the close proximity to the university. Not by the Lawrence school system nor by the high school. These improvements will bring new community life to the area. Water drainage issues will be a problem no more. The sale of a home in the area will not have the prior concerns of flooding issues. Wake up, don't listen to all the foolish suggestions you receive from a need-to-retire land use attorney. This is a benefit to all of Lawrence. This facility will be used for at least up to nine LHS soccer teams (boys and girls), three football teams, track, etc. It will be very limited on the times the lights will be on beyond 9:00 p.m. Parking all hours will be reduced. Thank you again city commissioners for making a great decision.

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