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Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2009

School board to discuss lawsuit over athletic fields at special meeting

The Lawrence School Board has scheduled a special meeting to discuss a pending lawsuit about Lawrence High's new athletic fields.

January 13, 2009

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The Lawrence school board has scheduled a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss pending litigation with neighbors who oppose athletic facilities construction near Lawrence High School.

The school district sent notification of the meeting that will be at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive. Superintendent Randy Weseman said board members will likely go into executive session with attorneys to discuss the status of the lawsuit.

Weseman said the school board could take action following the executive session.

Neighbors in November filed suit against the school district and the city, claiming the plans for a new football stadium and other facilities would harm the quality of their property.

The school board last year passed a plan to improve outdoor athletic facilities at both LHS and Free State High School.

Comments

Hoots 5 years, 11 months ago

They SCREWED these people. I feel sorry for them. If you think the new stadium is a good deal then buy the house they live in. I can tell you for certain this decision devaluated the price of their homes the second the decision was made to build a stadium right on top of them...literally on top of them. Why couldn't the district build a field that could have served both schools someplace else and saved us all a whole lot of money? In these times money is going to be hard to find. Just wait...USD 497 is going to complain they don't have any money soon yet they wasted so much on duplicating facilities. Stupid...stupid...stupid. It must be nice to spend other people's money.

sbdad 5 years, 11 months ago

How many days a year are we talking about, How many games will be played there in a year....5 ..maybe. And on a night for graduation, we are at 6, what else? The band will probably practice there, like they do now. OH and the softball field, have you seen how many people show up for these games.Come on people, I would rather have the fields in my back yard with something going on 100 days a year than neighbors 365 days.

Hoots 5 years, 11 months ago

sbdad -Then buy a house on that street BIG MOUTH. This could have been done on the edge of Lawrence for two schools instead of in an already congested area. So pony up. Do you want one of those houses? Talk with your wallet BIG BOY!!!..;and pay previous market value. I know your answer already. NOT IN MY BACK YARD. Go take a dump.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

The neighbors purchased their property with the knowledge that the high school was in their backyard. Did they really think that the school district wasn't going to use that property?The reasons why now and where have been discussed before, but here goes again.First, building safe, new facilities was a necessity. Otherwise, both local schools would find themselves without opponents because they would be excluded from the Sunflower League due to poor facilities. This was projected to have happened as early as Fall 2009.Second, no one doubts that a centralized mutiple sport facility would be tremendous, but would it really cost less? There was no property purchased for these additions since they are being built on district property. Additionally, there is no work on infrastructure like any undeveloped, sizeable area would have required. And where would a central sports facility go? YSI is out because the Corps owns the property, it is in the flood plain and access development would dwarf the costs involved here. Where's 60-80 acres open for use? There wasn't time to find adequate property, purchase it, fund it, plan it, develop it in order to use it. Lawrence simply doesn't move that fast or that organized.Complaints that I've heard about the LHS football stadium is not enough parking and trash pick-up. Here's a solution. Charge for parking on campus and designate off campus side streets "no parking" during games, except for residents. Cars with staff and student parking stickers park free on campus. (This will encourage car pooling. Might be fun to see how child drives or what they have left in the backseat.) Designate South Jr. High lot as a "free parking" zone. With money collected from parking on campus, provide free shuttle bus service to campus and pay to have trash picked up. For those that want close to the stadium parking, charge a premier price for a reserved space. I guess this is the "KU way" to soak the users at sporting events.I know that if I want to go to a football game, I'm cheap enough to park at South and take free bus service to the game.The intrusion that games cause has been greatly exagerated. At the football stadium, there would be the sports jambore, 5 regular season games, maybe 1-3 playoff games a year. Softball 10 to 15 games potential with many double headers. Baseball is the same. Soccer could have 7-9 regular season and as many as 4 post season games (never happened yet).Use by City Parks & Rec? That's a whole different topic. I wonder what will happen.I'll reserve judgment on a potential agreement when terms are announced, if there is one.

honestone 5 years, 11 months ago

Hep- "First, building safe, new facilities was a necessity. Otherwise, both local schools would find themselves without opponents because they would be excluded from the Sunflower League due to poor facilities. This was projected to have happened as early as Fall 2009". XXXXXXWhere did you get this inside info? Were they really going to say that LHS couldn't participate because the facilities didn't meet code. What about Free State's new fields?"...and..."The intrusion that games cause has been greatly exagerated. At the football stadium, there would be the sports jambore, 5 regular season games, maybe 1-3 playoff games a year. Softball 10 to 15 games potential with many double headers. Baseball is the same. Soccer could have 7-9 regular season and as many as 4 post season games (never happened yet)."XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXAt your largest numbers is 36 games a year worth the money we will invest?Just a question.

walkingonwater 5 years, 11 months ago

Hoots, when you say "... This could have been done on the edge of Lawrence for two schools instead of in an already congested area...." the fields ultimately end up in someone's backyard. While I agree with the argument related to the funding, in that, there is no money for a project of this size, further I agree one facility could have sufficed instead of two, I do not have a lot of sympathy for a homeowner near a school getting upset that a school has added a school-like facility, such as a ballfield, a new gymnasium. It is the nature of the neighborhood. Just as my neighborhood has some of its own unique issues.

walkingonwater 5 years, 11 months ago

I might add, this might be a good time for some of us to step up and file to run for a school board seat. My understanding is that no one has filed to run.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

honestone asks..."Where did you get this inside info? Were they really going to say that LHS couldn't participate because the facilities didn't meet code. What about Free State's new fields?"I read the affidavits of the school Athletic Directors filed in the lawsuit by the School Board along with their attachments. They specifically indicate that the Sunflower League had on their agenda the questions of persistent field problems for Lawrence and Leavenworth football and Lawrence soccer. The implication was that all were considered as being substandard, potentially dangerous to participants.It has taken years for the Shawnee Mission and Olathe Districts to collectively reach this position. When both communities presented their solutions, this issue was taken off the table and the efforts forestalled local exclusion. Further, I have had conversations with Athletic Directors from other schools who have cautiously indicated to me as a private person, that Lawrence facilities were unacceptable and could be cause for LHS and Free State being on the outside of the Sunflower League.It wasn't just LHS football because Free State used Haskell as well. The other complaint was the quality of YSI fields #14 and #15 as used by LHS for soccer. Those two fields have been considered unsafe for high schoolers for years. Free State's on-campus soccer field was considered better, but still below standards.I don't know what "code" standards might be. I do know that several years ago SM West sought assistance from KSHSAA to challenge Haskell as the home venue for a 2nd round football playoff game. They wanted it changed to SM South or North stadium. Their justification was that Haskell was bad for the players and parents. The game was played at Haskell and, if I remember correctly, SM West blasted LHS. Maybe it was a psych job by SM West, but it sure didn't help LHS.It appears that with the effort towards improved facilities at LHS and Free State, the topic of kicking our local high schools out of the Sunflower League has ceased.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

honestone asks..."At your largest numbers is 36 games a year worth the money we will invest?"I think it reasonable. Many other communities, such as Bonner Springs and Basehor, have considered and made comperable improvements to their stadiums.I guess this question can be made of any faciltiy that is not in daily use. What about Memorial Stadium for KU football and Allen Fieldhouse for KU basketball? They're used for practice, other activities and graduation.I"m not saying that the fields will be used each and every day, but when the fields are located on campus they can be used by teams for practice, physical education classes and the community. While the baseball / softball fields won't host games in the fall, they'll likely be used by soccer and football teams for practice surfaces. With athletic turf, they won't tear up the sod. These fields will benefit more than the sports teams. And, knowing how long this community goes without updating facilities, I suspect they'll be used for a long time.

KULHSLIONSfan 5 years, 11 months ago

Ariadne! Do not email me. I do not care for any of your ridiculous comments, posts or thoughts. Your ignorance and stupidity have been repeatedly demonstrated on these blogs. Your grandstanding and handwaving at the city commission meeting also demonstrated the same. Your credibility is virtually non-existent. This is a project for the benefit of Lawrence and Douglas County. I have property in the LHS neighborhood and am excited about something positive for the area. The neighborhood will benefit from the project. Deal with it.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 11 months ago

I think Sven has gotten caught with his pants down once again.And what a cold cold day for his pants to be down.

mom_of_three 5 years, 11 months ago

ariadne,DO NOT EMAIL ME WITH ANYTHING AGAIN - DO YOU HEAR ME?!! I am sure the LJW doesn't approve of harrassment.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

ariadne, stop emailing your drivel to me.

KULHSLIONSfan 5 years, 11 months ago

Ariadne, you actually had to check your history? A little dementia. That would explain a great deal. Your email was sent yesterday. Do you not remember from one day to the next.I am a KU LHS Lions fan because that is where my kids are all currently going to school. If they were going to other schools I would include them.Your ignorance of the points in the cut and pasted email don't even deserve a response anymore. Your blind ignorance to the items noted in the Allen email are expected. It is quite obvious neither of you have a grasp of the issues and could care less about the needs of the community as a whole. In regards to your cutting and posting previous emails. Do you actually believe just because someone wrote a letter to the editor and then you copy and paste it, that it actually proves anything. It is an opinion based on what someone may believe as fact, their interpretation of fact or simply ideas presented for discussion or consideration. Wow, you discredit any credibility the neighborhood may of had. When you continue with the absurd it tends to have more of a negative impact on an issue. You, on your own, have done more to hurt than to help.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

spiderham, did I say that you had sent me anything today? Nope, I didn't. Relax and have a popsicle. It's a cool and fruity treat on a winter day.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes, the lemurs and I pretend to be architects. It's jolly fun.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 11 months ago

all forum members who recieve Ariadne's e-mails:please forward them in their entirity to Jonathan Kealing and david ryan. on occasion he has harrassed me that way too, and a couple weeks ago i forwarded the e-mail. I'm surprised they haven't yanked this identity for violations of Terms of service again!I understood that also about the conditions of playing fields becoming very serious and potentially leading to LHS/Freestate being removed from the league rosters. I'd wondered about one district facility, to save some money but given the urgency I can understand the logic. however, none of this is really relevant. all this, plus turf, parking, lighting, birds, natural buffer, trees, noise, days' use, etc., all just ploys for the despicable Ariadne to try to oppose this being built. he has never been honest and stated that he simply opposes this *because it will change his neighborhood and his backyard. that is, his mother's backyard.

TacoBob 5 years, 11 months ago

Glad to hear the lawsuit is settled. No more posting from Cool!Excellent news indeed. Now we can move on.

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