School board president says district needs input on 19th Street changes; board approves door-to-door fundraising ban

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

Lawrence USD 497 school board

Lawrence school board President Shannon Kimball urged district leaders Tuesday to stay engaged with the city of Lawrence about plans to improve 19th Street because of potential negative traffic impacts to Cordley Elementary School and Lawrence High School.

The city has put out a request for qualifications for engineering firms to design a $3.6 million project to rebuild about a half-mile section of 19th Street between Harper Street and O’Connell Road. The plan would open the currently blocked 19th Street and O’Connell Road intersection to provide access to VenturePark and East Hills Business Park. The design team would consider the options of maintaining 19th Street at its current 31-foot width in the section or widening the roadway to 47 feet.

Kimball said the district had an interest in any actions that would increase traffic on 19th Street, which provides the main access to Cordley Elementary and Lawrence High School. She said the board should work with the city to ensure its concerns were heard and that the board would have input.

Kimball said she also had concerns of increased 19th Street traffic as a result of the Lawrence City Commission’s decision to design and construct a bike boulevard on 21st Street between Iowa and Massachusetts streets. Bike boulevards use measures such as traffic diverters, lower speed limits and speed bumps to decrease traffic volume and speed in order to prioritize the road for bicycles, according to the National Association of Transportation Officials. Kimball said she was worried that more motorists would take 19th Street to avoid 21st Street.

Interim Superintendent Anna Stubblefield said she would meet soon with Lawrence City Manager Tom Markus about how to ensure the district would have input into the street projects.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the district’s first fundraising policy. At a work session earlier this month, board members indicated they would approve a policy that would ban door-to-door fundraising efforts.

• Approved a three-year, $52,550 agreement with ALICE Training Institute to provide training classes in how to handle an aggressive intruder or active shooter incident on district grounds.

• Approved the purchase of a $26,113 football scoreboard for Free State High School.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.