School district’s landscaping bids come in almost 50 percent under budget

The Lawrence school district doesn’t have to pick and choose pieces of landscaping for the outdoor athletic high school facilities. The board-approved bid is about half of what the board budgeted.

“We had budgeted about $150,000 or more,” operations and facility planning division director Tom Bracciano said. “The bid was right around $80,000.”

The plan includes trees lining 19th and 21st streets at Lawrence High and along the western property line as part of a lawsuit settlement with the Centennial Neighborhood. Most of the street trees at Free State were planted when the site was being built and most of the landscaping has been completed thanks to donations.

“The bids were such that we’re able to do them all within the budget,” chief operations officer Frank Harwood said.

“We do have a lot of seeding to do (at Free State),” Bracciano said. “Quite a bit of the big package is seeding and grading. Once the grading and the seeding is done, then we can pretty much close up the site and leave.”

The administration is trying to make sure everything is ready and green by the time spring sports start the last week of February.

“We’re still working on the list,” Harwood said. “We got slowed down tremendously by the weather.”

Landscaping usually is paid for with general fund dollars. Because this beautification is part of a larger project, capital outlay funds, which can’t be used for anything but facilities and equipment, can be used for the trees, plants and seeding that needs to be done.

Bracciano hopes to get the work started soon.