Archive for Monday, September 9, 2013

Enrollment growth may lead to more bond construction

September 9, 2013


Preliminary numbers from the first week of the new school year show enrollment grew much more than expected this year, especially in elementary schools, and that could force the Lawrence school board to re-think some of the bond-funded construction projects they've been planning.

Unofficial totals compiled on Aug. 30 show elementary enrollment grew by 95 students this year, or about 1.8 percent.

The district already had been planning for a net addition of 11 new classrooms as part of the projects being financed with the $92.5 million bond issue that voters approved in April. But officials are now recommending another 12 new classrooms on top of that, for a total of 23.

"The administration recommends the construction of these additional classrooms to avoid the future placement of mobile classrooms on our elementary campuses," Superintendent Rick Doll said in a memo to the school board. "This will be the most cost efficient way to construct these classrooms."

The school board will consider that recommendation when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the administration center, 110 McDonald Drive.

In addition to the new classrooms already planned, Dole's recommendation adding two more at New York; one at Pinckney; three at Deerfield; two at Langston Hughes; three at Sunflower; and one at Kennedy. Officials are also recommending the addition of six classroom "shells" to be constructed at Sunset Hill.

He said the additional projects could be financed with the $600,000 premium the district earned on the sale of its bonds; an estimated $500,000 in interest it expects to earn on the deposit of bond proceeds; and $2 million in capital improvement funds.

In other business, the board will:

• Hear a report on the effectiveness of the district's wellness program.

• Receive a report on the district's food service program.

• Receive an update on bond construction plans.

• Consider a proposed agreement to sell 2.31 acres to the Kansas Department of Transportation for an interchange at the South Lawrence Trafficway and Kansas Highway 10 for $173,250.

• Consider an architectural contract with BG Consultants, Inc., for one package of bond-funded construction projects.

• And consider preliminary approval of a document outlining the board's goals for the 2013-2014 school year.


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