Archive for Wednesday, February 3, 2010

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

The Lawrence school district will be able to complete all the projects on its list for local high school outdoor facilities. Bids for the projects came in under budget.

February 3, 2010


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.


MustHaveSalt 8 years, 2 months ago

Good job, bidders. It appears someone is paying attention to the current economic conditions.

nlf78 8 years, 2 months ago

Well at least they are saving money somewhere. Hopefully they can get their priorities figured out so we don't lose schools or the quality of the education the school district provides.

getreal 8 years, 2 months ago

those complaining would be the first to scream if there was no grass. The money used for facilities can NOT be used for classrooms and teachers. Don't like it - blame the Kansas Legislature.

spiderd 8 years, 2 months ago

True, the money spent can't be used in classrooms. But the days of looking at everything 1 dimensionally are over. Capital outlay funds will not be available to maintain this landscaping. Were plants/trees/grass that require the least amount of maintanence chosen? Did anyone bring this up?
Capital outlay funds have got to be spent in a responsible manner.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Within what budget?

This project was NOT approved by USD 497 voters.

Actually voters indicated they were not interested in extravagant spending for new athletic facilites:

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

USD 497 has a plan to build a super big elementary school that will cost millions upon millions. An old idea has surfaced again.

Meanwhile most existing elementary schools are paid for.

Before any schools are closed USD 497 taxpayers need to know what is on the table. Eastside neighborhoods are growing with families.

Let the voters decide!

  • on all new projects

  • no further USD 497 expansions on sports projects without voter approval

* on all school closings

No one knows if USD 497 will be short $4 million!

At most the shortfall will be under $3 million which can come out of the $7 million USD 497 stash.

WilburM 8 years, 2 months ago

It's time for the state legislature to suspend the prohibition on moving capital funds to operations/education purposes. When $$ is reasonably plentiful, this distinction may make some sense; at present, however, in dire circumstances and real threats to the quality of education, it's simply counterproductive, stupid, and inefficient.

ralphralph 8 years, 2 months ago

You could hire laid-off teachers to weed the flower beds.

Lori Nation 8 years, 2 months ago

Or have the kids plant seeds and pull weeds, and heck plant trees since this district soon won't be able to afford teachers. But the land sure will look sweet!

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 2 months ago

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imamomma 8 years, 2 months ago

Craziness.....we marched on bumpy hole ridden marching field in high school (and won all 1's in color guard at LHS) We ran track, succeeded in track and field and brought home tons of medals and trophies to LHS on "old" fields, track, etc.....

Why do the high school kids now need the best of the best? Then go to college live in yet another high priced fancy apartment the time the see what the world really looks new jobs, trailers, duplexes, and waiting in line at SRS and other agencies (nothing against that cause I have had to).....they just won't know what to do. Their life will be so ahhhhhhhhhhh all because Lawrence has had to look so rich and give the ultimate lighting systems and watering systems to 16, 17, and 18 yr olds that have no real sense of being grateful. No it isn't their fault....Lawrence just keeps pushing out these new and fancy and EXPENSIVE practice fields, football fields, etc I guess because the better fields and all the money spent on these things will make the students better students and successfully adults. And with the knowledge gained from always having the best of the best in athletic equipment, stadiums, and fields our children will go on to...............expect everything in life to come to them so easily......Do these new fields and athletic set ups make the student athletes any faster, smarter, or set them up for the real world? Just wondering....I say no more athletic spending like what has been going on. At Grant we used to do our our tree planting, weeding, watering, painting.....we cared about what we hard and were taught to take care of our equipment, our school and that hard work brought rewards......things were not just given to us.....

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