Archive for Monday, October 10, 2011

First Bell: Hot topic — heating, air-conditioning units — up for approval; capital planning ahead for Lawrence school board

October 10, 2011


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Tonight, members of the Lawrence school board will consider buying new rooftop heating and air-conditioning units for district headquarters.

The 11 units would heat the interior — not the roof — of what formally is known within the Lawrence school district as the Educational Support & Distribution Center, 110 McDonald Drive.

The units up for replacement are more than 20 years old, are difficult to find parts for and, in fact, are failing, said Kyle Hayden, the district’s chief operations officer, and Tom Bracciano, the district’s division director for facilities and maintenance.

Inspections in August revealed that the 11 units had “holes, cracks and rust” in their heat exchangers, a condition that could lead to “serious safety concerns for building occupants” if and when the units would be switched over to heat from cool, said Hayden and Bracciano, in a memo to board members.

The district asked contractors to bid for the job, and three responded:

• Chaney Inc., of Lawrence, offered to do the job for $106,250.

• McElroy’s Inc., Topeka, offered to do it for $116,673.

• Smith Service Co. Inc., of Lawrence, bid $121,690.

Board members are scheduled to approve hiring Chaney during tonight’s meeting, set to begin at 7 at district headquarters.

The headquarters complex is the former site of the All Star Dairy. A project that both renovated and replaced the dairy received the Architectural Enhancement Award in 1993 from the Lawrence Board of Realtors.

The district lined up a contract in 1999 to buy the property in 1999 for $4.1 million, to accommodate and consolidate administrative and warehouse operations. The district’s service center previously had been located on Clinton Parkway.


Also up for approval by the board is a list of goals. Those goals, in turn, carry action items and timelines for getting them done — or considered, or discussed, or reviewed or whatever action is necessary.

One of the goals, as included in the draft document, calls for two specific items within an overall goal under the “equity” category:

The goal: “Allocate capital and human resources to areas of greatest need to maximize student achievement."

The two items envisioned:

• Develop a long-range capital improvement plan (including timelines and funding sources) taking into account facilities, technology, furniture and equipment. By January, administrators would report on process and procedures for capital planning; by March, they would recommend capital projects for the coming summer; and by July, they would identify “priority” projects to be included in a three-to-five year plan.

• Investigate current policy and practices related to allocation of school staffing. By April, administrators would review the effect of middle and high school reconfiguration on staff allocation practices.

Board member Randy Masten, for one, has asked for a process that would include more public input.

Again, tonight’s meeting is set for 7 at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.


buffalo63 6 years, 7 months ago

"More public input" is a great idea, but only if the public input will be seriously considered. Too many times "public input" is asked for but then used as cover for a decision that was made before the input was even given, aka WV school closing, athletic fields (no "public" input) and plans that changed weekly after Board approval.

Alceste 6 years, 7 months ago

In Lawrence, Kansas, more and more, "public input" is code speak for "The decisions have all been made. The deals have also been made. Now we need to legitimize the process by having a "public input dog and pony show." And what's insulting even moreso is the reality "the deciders" get paid to "participate" in their own "dog and pony" show. They've already been wined and dined by the bidders, on "company time"; next is the "deciding time" which is on "company time"; and finally, the "dog and pony public input" show on "company time.".

It's great for those in that $100,000.00+ per annum "local government" job, eh?

guess_again 6 years, 7 months ago

Why in the world do they call something the "Educational Support & Distribution Center?" It means nothing to a real person.

Why not "district office" or "district headquarters" or "district center," or "board office?"

Alceste 6 years, 7 months ago


The answer to your question is fairly basic: It's because "they're" all in the $100,000.00+ Club and NEED to feel (not think) important.

Using the descriptors you're providing does NOT contribute to "them" "feeling" (not thinking) important.

My strong suggestion is that we ALL get used to it......these $100,000.00+ Club members are out "there" and far more prevelent than the mass understand.....and our fellow citizens not only elect them, but also wait with halting breath on their mere utterances. Time to look out for number one.....that's what "they've" been doing for decades to the extent "looking out for Number One" in "Their" circles has created this club.

Us? We ain't got no club. shrug

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Sell the place and bring money to the district to repair other more buildings such as school buildings.

cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

buy them some working phones while your at it , the current ones must all be broken cuz they never answer them.

aryastark1984 6 years, 7 months ago

How about this. You can fix your HVAC after you get off your duffs and fix all the leaky roofs in the elementary schools AND fix their HVAC systems.

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