Lawrence school board to consider contract to replace 8 synthetic athletic fields

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

The Lawrence school board will meet Monday with the purchase of eight new synthetic turf athletic fields for district high schools on its consent agenda.

The $4.57 million contract with Hellas Construction would cover installation of new synthetic turf surfaces on eight Lawrence and Free State high school athletic fields this summer, replacing surfaces installed in 2009. The warranties on the current fields have expired. The contract is subject to the district securing lease financing for the project, which the board would approve at a later date.

The consent agenda includes some other purchases:

• A four-year lease of laptops for district teachers through Apple Financial Services Education Finance. The lease’s annual cost of principal and interest would be $362,678 for a four-year total of $1.45 million. The new laptops would replace those acquired in a four-year lease in 2014 and take advantage of those devices’ trade-in value.

• Equipment for the Lawrence College and Career Center Culinary Kitchen at a cost of $111,000. If approved, the purchase of the equipment from Sunflower Restaurant Supply Inc. will be funded through the 2017 $87 million bond issue.

The only agenda business before the board other than its consent agenda will be an update from Leah Wisdom, district assistant director of equity and student services, on the district’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program.

AVID makes available an elective course to students with D, C and B grade-point averages who have average to high reading and math test scores, according to Wisdom’s written report provided to the board in advance of the meeting. Its curriculum focuses on skills and behaviors that contribute to success. The course is aimed at minority or low-income students who may be the first in their families to attend college, Wisdom wrote in the report.

The district introduced the AVID program at the high school level in the 2012-2013 school year. It was expanded into the district’s middle schools the following years, Wisdom wrote.

The meeting is to start at 6 p.m. Monday with an executive session. The regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.