Lawrence High School will be getting a bit of a makeover in the coming weeks and months, including a schedule shift that will help athletes spend more time in class.
Among projects endorsed or approved by the Lawrence school board:
• A new roof for the school’s original science addition, which previously had been transformed into other classrooms but will return to science for the coming year.
• A wave of new lockers, to replace original tall-and-narrow models with shorter-and-wider versions considered both more useful and space efficient.
• A new set of security cameras, to replace aging equipment has left school resource officers with grainy video.
• A new system for numbering rooms, so the school’s dozens of classrooms will have logical, unique numbers — no more “122” and “122-A” — while offices, the gymnasium and weight room will be identified by names, not numerals.
• Removal of asbestos from the school’s annex building, to make room for more classrooms: for foreign languages, business, debate and special education.
• Adjustments in the cafeteria, including the purchase of more tables, to make it easier for more students to get in, eat and get out.
Plans also are in the works for a brick-encased scoreboard at the football stadium, where a new arched ticket booth also would be built in time for the coming football season. A booster group is busy raising money for the work, which will be expected to spread to other athletics venues in the years ahead.
Add to that a new class schedule — with the school’s late-start day shifted from Wednesday to Thursday — and the Lions will be beginning the 2011-12 school year with more than just another 400 or so ninth-graders who otherwise would’ve been in junior high school.
“We’ll be ready,” Principal Matt Brungardt said. “We’re plugging along, working on final building plans, getting the master schedule ready, trying to hire some teachers — to prepare for the arrival of ninth-graders in August and getting everybody ready to go, all 1,600 kids.”
Some of the changes already have been put in motion.
The board approved hiring Wichita-based Gerken Environmental, for $72,500, to remove the asbestos coating on the ceiling of the school’s annex building, once home to district headquarters. Floor tiles also include asbestos, and must be removed before renovations can begin.
The board also approved a $86,696 contract with Diamond Everley, of Lawrence, to replace the roof over the original science addition, which is at the southern end of the school.
Alexander Open Systems will be paid $79,410 for 84 new security cameras and mounting equipment, under a contract approved Monday by board members.
Board members also approved the new schedule, which will be the same start-and-stop times at Free State High School:
• Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8:05 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
• Wednesday: 8:05 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
• Thursday, 9:05 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Getting out early on Thursdays, new this coming year, will mean fewer early dismissals for students participating in athletics events, Brungardt said. That’s because more competitions — especially for JV football and volleyball — are scheduled for Thursday afternoons.
The schedule change largely was dictated by bus schedules, but administrators will accept any extra benefit where they can get one.
“We’re going to take credit for it,” he said, with a laugh.