Let’s hope no news is good news.
Lawrence’s school board Monday night agreed to negotiate contracts for the design of building renovations that will be funded by the $92.5 million bond issue approved by voters in April. Four packages were authorized by the board, covering elementary, middle and high schools.
A fifth package involving the design for a new career and technical education facility was left behind and will be decided later. Perhaps that means that something good for the community is in the works.
At this point, it’s all speculation. However, when the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce board of directors endorsed the bond issue, it said:
“The Chamber recognizes that investment in our public school system is not only vital for developing a strong sense of community, but it also serves as a critical component in attracting and retaining new businesses to the region.
“We particularly endorse the school district’s commitment to building a workforce development center. This is an excellent start to bringing technical training to Lawrence.
“The district’s efforts complement discussions the Chamber has led with community and technical colleges in the region to create local technical training opportunities. The size, location and offerings of those opportunities are still in discussion, and the Chamber looks forward to facilitating more discussions to help Lawrence and Douglas County develop a workforce for the future.”
As the bond proposal was unveiled, the school district had suggested it would work with Kansas City, Johnson County, and Neosho County community colleges to expand the career and technical education programs available in Lawrence, noting health science, machine technology and technical education programs in particular.
The chamber in turn had suggested that a more visible and accessible location than the district’s Holcom Center be selected, and expressed interest in helping to finance an even more expansive program to address specific needs of the community and local employers.
So let’s keep our fingers crossed that discussions of a true partnership between the business community and the school district is being shaped. The entire community, not simply the two groups involved, certainly would benefit.