Archive for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

School board OKs deal for athletic field lighting

Superintendent presents plan to cut $1M from general fund

The lights are on and the next step of the athletic fields at both high schools is a go.

February 24, 2009


The school board approved an $875,000 lighting package at its meeting Monday night to shed some light on the new athletic fields at both high schools.

The package will provide lamps for Lawrence High School’s football, baseball and softball fields and their parking lots.

Free State High School will get new lights on its football field.

“Lights allow us to extend the practice times. They allow us to have games after dark. It allows for more usage of the fields,” said Tom Bracciano, the division director for operations and facility planning. “It is a big component of it.”

Bracciano said he is holding off on lighting the soccer fields at both schools and the tennis courts at Lawrence High.

“We’re also working with the city on an agreement on the Lawrence Tennis Center to get some kind of understanding on how we want to operate that, the funding for it and those kinds of things,” Bracciano said.

The soccer teams will play on the football fields this season.

Budget woes

Superintendent Randy Weseman presented a plan to cut just over $1 million from the district’s general fund to prepare for a $33 cut in base state aid per student for this school year.

“We have prepared for emergencies and we prepared for the rainy day and this isn’t easy to do,” Weseman said.

His plan includes a modified hiring freeze. For example, he approved the hiring of an autism support staff member and another track coach, but did not OK the hiring of a secretary at district headquarters.

“The baseline for me on this is to protect what’s going on in our schools on a day-to-day basis,” Weseman said.

He also noted that Lawrence public schools will be better off than others when it comes to cuts from the state.

“It’s going to be much easier for us because we do have some emergency reserves and we have built our contingency up,” he said.

Superintendent search

The board also heard about the final six candidates vying to fill Weseman’s position upon his retirement at the end of the school year.

There were 30 applicants, 16 of those in-state. All six of the final applicants are current sitting superintendents. Four of the final six are in-state and the other two have ties to Kansas.

“It is significant that in the entire process that we now have six candidates that meet the board’s criteria,” said David Smith, a consultant with Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the firm hired to conduct the search. “This is a well-regarded school system. That extends out into the superintendent pool.”

Interviews will begin at the end of this week and continue through early March.


Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

Spend 875,000 on sports, then cut 1,000,000 from general fund (education)..... nice

mom_of_three 9 years, 2 months ago

Cut sports back to a healthy level? You want to cut a team or what, Jack? Or do you want to cut sports spending?
If you figure out what team deserves to be cut, I am sure the district and school would let you tell the kids.

rcr 9 years, 2 months ago

You've gotta be sh**ing me. The school board approves $850,000 dollars for a lighting package so they can extend practice hours. All the while we are being told that we have to trim somewhere between half a million to a million dollars off the budget.

There will be teachers who will not get their contracts renewed, other district employees who will in all likelihood be laid off, students who will suffer from this and all because the idiots on the school board feels it is more important to have longer practice time.

Everyone of the idiots that voted from this need to be sent into retirement with the idiot superintendent. This school board is sending this district into the toilet. What a bunch of ignorant fools.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

Just ask the avid sports fan (parent) what color the math book is. enough said.

Poon 9 years, 2 months ago

Sven will chime in in



8 .



mom_of_three 9 years, 2 months ago

My kid is a great student and an athlete. My kid doesn't have any ideas about making a million. All my kid wants from sports, besides the absolute love of the game, is to maybe use it to pay for college or perhaps a better college than we could otherwise afford. And my kid is thinking about a chemistry degree, because of my kid loves it. She is competitive in sports and in school, and absolutely loves to see her name in the paper for the honor roll. And if sports happens to put her name in the paper, than that is good, too.
Don't make generalizations about student-athletes and their parents.
By the way, I don't know the color of my kid's alegbra II book because it's usually open when I see her with it, studying and doing her homework.

fairplay 9 years, 2 months ago

Guess which posters were cut from every team they ever tried out for? Resent much? Without athletics, these kids will occupy their time hacking away inane posts on the LJW website. Lord knows that pass time has never done anybody any good.
Hey Jack, when you are done crying over your lack of letterman's jacket, would you kindly explain to me the difference between a capitol improvement fund and a general fund? Which one is funded by the State? Can capitol improvement dollars be used for classroom instruction?
Let me know when you put your app in for the Superintendent position, I think it would be good to have someone like you calling the'll give the rest of the idiots a chance to see just how little they know.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't know the color of my kid's alegbra II book because it's usually open when I see her with it, studying and doing her homework.

I rest my case.

mom_of_three 9 years, 2 months ago

xbusguy - Since she has a 3.87 gpa, taking advanced chemistry, advanced alegbra II, English and the like, while playing sports, I assume the book is open pretty often. All her books are.
And I doubt she will get a sales job. You usually don't work hands on in a sales job.

fearsadness14 9 years, 2 months ago

what you people dont understand is that the money going into these sports facilities is coming from a completely different source than all of the everyday general funds. There are also laws that prevent these funds from being transferred from one part to another, so there can't be any money diverted from the construction costs to supplement the shortages in other areas.

ockhamsrazor 9 years, 2 months ago

Stack-em deep and teach-em cheap... but we have lights.

rubberband 9 years, 2 months ago

Precalculus book--green/purple, picture of roller coaster track; World History book--blue with picture of the Sphinx; Advanced chemistry--multicolored with icebergs, molecular models of H2O, snowflake, and water droplet; literature book--Hamlet; drafting homework can only be done at school because we don't have the equipment at home. 3.98 GPA. Scholarships will most likely be academic. Your generalizations of student athletes is narrow-minded and just plain absurd, as are your preconceived notions about their parents. Most student athletes are about far more than just being a athlete. And most parents of student athletes are supportive of all of their healthy activities, not just sports. There are always exceptions, but that is exactly what they are. Exceptions. Athletics is as important to a well-rounded education as music, art, and literature. And as for the kids whose focus is on athletics rather than academics, I'd rather they be busy excelling at something healthy rather than bumming around causing trouble. It's a worthwhile investment, in my opinion.

rubberband 9 years, 2 months ago

"JackRipper (Anonymous) says…

rusty and fairplay pretty much sum it up, that the letter jacket apparently is some kind of holy grail that everyone is pursuing. That's our America. Enjoy the wild ride we are about to embark on. I'm wondering when you sit on the couch eating Doritos watching other people play sports do you wear you letter jacket and reflect back on your only days of glory?"

"xbusguy (Anonymous) says…

Just ask the avid sports fan (parent) what color the math book is. enough said"

Hmmm....apparently I have misinterpreted

Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

Better keep the Chamber of Commerce off the new board because of their pattern for blowing tax dollars.

For that matter better keep them off city,county and planning commissions. No matter where they sit tax dollars are like play money to them.

rubberband 9 years, 2 months ago

My point is that not everyone who wants this is some kind of sports freak who thinks their kid will make millions as a pro athlete. Mine won't, and neither will most of them. That doesn't mean it has no importance. We have been putting off providing decent athletic facilities in this district for years. I think we have a responsibility to provide our kids with a variety of opportunities, whether it be math, science, literature, art, music, vo-tech, sports, etc. I don't find pottery or sewing to be all that important (couldn't that be done at the arts center?), but that doesn't mean I would suggest not providing the facilities for those that do. There has to be a balance.

Oh, and South Jr. High? It's not exactly how I would have designed it either, but it's a hell of a lot better than what was there before.

rusty2 9 years, 2 months ago

of course the underlying question has always been - why build duplicate 'temporary' football stadiums both with artificial turf which has many many negative & potentially toxic effects.

the school board voted unanimously to spend over $14 million for these facilities without a bond issue - and with inadequate parking in the case of the stadium near LHS.

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