Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Public input on bond issue sought

October 9, 2012


The Lawrence school board has scheduled community meetings on issues related to a proposed bond issue election.

The board is looking for reaction to its plans to hold a bond election in April, and staff will be available to answer questions at these meetings:

• 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Pinckney School, 810 W. Sixth St.

• 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Kennedy School, 1605 Davis Road.

• 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Cordley School, 1837 Vt.

• 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Hillcrest School, 1045 Hilltop Drive.

• 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at New York School, 936 N.Y.

• 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at Sunset Hill School, 901 Schwarz Road.


logical_parent 5 years, 7 months ago

To "Did_I_say_that": The reason for the "SONS" only schools is that the school board is only looking for favorable acceptance. You would never see them holding a meeting at Langston Hughes or Sunflower. Another reason the school board is holding their meetings at these certain schools if you remember the debacle of the second "task force" setup to close schools, that very same "task force" that was assembled, I might add were representatives from these very same schools, could not come up with a solution to close schools, this is one way to appease their loyalty. Though kudos to the Kennedy group who asked for their school to be closed and have a new one built. Now they want us to become one happy family and keep all the schools open that will cost us an arm and a leg to fix, open, ie Cordley not ADA compliant, I believe I heard the cost to fix that monster was around $2 million plus and before people get all hot because I mentioned one school there are a multitude of schools that should be closed for the childrens sake, health, design etc but there are too many to list. I feel that every child deserves a newer environment to learn in. Now that I thinking about the subject, I haven't heard anything about Prairie Park. I was told that it is projected to have the largest number of incoming students in the next several years. If the school board was smart they would be looking into upgrading that school or maybe this is the reason that the old school board purchased that overly expensive piece of property near Praire Park maybe they are tossing a bone to the SoNS people when all along they might be moving along with PP, just a thought, I wouldn't put it pass Doll and the school board(this is Doll's shot at building a new school,so he can put it on his CV). It all boils down to the school board NEEDS a favorable showing and press to convince the readers of the LJW to come out and vote for their lovely bond issue. The school board is also throwing out the bone regarding some technology enhancement. This is suppose to appease the rest of the district voters who actually will be paying for the majority of the bond.

Cogito_Ergo_Es 5 years, 7 months ago

"I wouldn't put it pass Doll and the school board(this is Doll's shot at building a new school,so he can put it on his CV"
Nor would I, but in addition, listen for the school board whispers of 'over-capacity.' And read 'Let's build a new school.' I mean really, why's that? Gosh, if they hadn't closed a school recently, would we really be 'over-capacity'? While some of what they propose may be very valid, e.g. all the deferred maintenance they haven't done, this should not be an opportunity to take additional tax money, when I could use the DECREASE, in the name of building a new school. I'm sorry, but the year before last, Doll and the district closed a school that needed NO REPAIRS or maintenance in favor of keeping open ones that did. And now they are making noise about new buildings and additions. This will not lower class sizes, this will just be an opportunity to cram more kids into slightly bigger buildings and close another school. Watch out New York, your enrollment is sitting just where Wakarusa's was when they pulled the plug on us. This district owns perfectly good buildings. Why should Waky not be used as an elementary? Why should Boys & Girls club get East Heights for a $1.00? Why shouldn't my taxes go down when the current bonds retire? Watch the wording here. The bond will be vague. It'll hit the nice high points and skim past the stuff they don't want you to dwell on. If they would just be honest and not try to slip controversial things past us we wouldn't have to have all these discussions. Just do what you said you we're going to do last year and fix the buildings you should have fixed over the last 10 years. Period.

Bigdog66046 5 years, 7 months ago

They should of closed cordley instead of centennial due to the fact centennial was ADA compliant. But then they couldn't have built the sports fields!. Also they redid the kitchen area at Centennial (at the time virtual school) and then once they closed Walkarusa they "decided" they could move stuff out of Centennial and move the early child care stuff there and use the new kitchens. The School Administration has many plans in the works. Just like them renting East Heights to the B&G Club. They wanted to give them that so they get the B&G club property to build new school. EVERYTHING they do they have planned out. But refuse to tell the people who have to pay for all their grand ideas! Voting NO on any bond until the can figure out how to tell the true and stop shifting all their money around and hiding all the true spending.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

The rehab projects must move forward with or without an approved bond issue.

How should the school district pay for a $16.5 million maintenance backlog in elementary schools?

I say push a plan B in the event plan A aka Bond issue fails.

Much of our districts school building problems have been the result of a demolition by neglect attitude of a previous administration and BOE members. Apparently driven by a private agenda to close schools. An attitude USD 497 taxpayers can never afford.

In essence our initial tax dollar investments go straight to hell when taxpayer owned property does not receive the attention and care legally expected or required of the admin and the USD 497 BOE.

The rehab projects must move forward with or without an approved bond issue.

The following example represents the magnitude by which a demolition by neglect attitude impacts the taxpayers as opposed to maintaining structures as expected.

Notice the $20 million USD 497 $$$ spent on the PLAY sports project could have rehabilitated all of our elementary school facilities.

Throw away some buildings so taxpayers can satisfy the builders lust for more riches.... with the Chamber in there cheering wasteful ventures on and on and on. Reckless and negligent.

All that being said does not exclude the need to rehab our existing resources.

I am not sure a bond issue will pass with all of the city commission heavy new demands on the taxpayers. Which are substantial and no end in sight. Reckless to say the least.

It's too bad the City Commission will not work with the BOE meaning put high dollar projects on the back burner until the elementary school rehab project is complete. We need some teamwork in this city.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

The city and county agreed to reduce their mill levies when a bond issue was going before voters to build Free State High school according to a April 2,2001 LJW article. Mike Wildgen was city manager at that time.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Plan B

If a bond issue is submitted and fails what then? USD 497 simply cannot ignore the situation any longer. This rehab work probably should have commenced 15 years ago. An existing Plan B set to go would display fiscal and political savvy in the eyes of taxpayers. What a novel idea and one that would be respected.

How should the school district pay for a $16.5 million maintenance backlog in elementary schools?
61% over a period of time vs. 31% do a bond issue

How? We must consider existing tax dollars going to the capitol outlay funds over a period of 3-5 years.

At $7.5 million USD 497 tax dollars a year in capital outlay funds this maintenance could be accomplished in 3-5 years without raising taxes or borrowing money. USD 497 2011 Facilities and Maintenance Capital Outlay Priorities suggests(?) $6,440,000 could be spent perhaps annually towards the rehab projects.

Any further spending on the PLAY sports project may need to be curtailed in order to support the rehab project. Taxpayer owned properties aka elementary school buildings cannot be neglected further.

School Priorities

One might consider including Plan B on the ballot in order to secure or lock in the Plan B. Thus preventing a different USD 497 BOD from cutting off the project.

Next = Biting the Bullet.

--- Put the USD 497 admin building on the market. Buying this building was not popular among taxpayers.

--- Selling off the new 76 acres which was purchased as an investment so to speak according to Scott Morgan.

--- What’s up with East Heights?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Selling off the new 76 acres of unimproved land which was purchased @$23,000 an acre as an investment so to speak according to Scott Morgan.

$23,000 an acre for 76 acres of unimproved land is a bargain? Maybe to profit making home builder.

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