Updated design plans for Lawrence High School add $1.73M; projects still within budget

photo by: Gould Evans/Contributed Image

This rendering, courtesy of Lawrence-based architecture firm Gould Evans, shows a view looking east into a planned media commons at Lawrence High School. Built in 1954, the school hasn’t had a comprehensive overhaul since it opened.

Some updates to Lawrence High School design plans would add an extra $1.73 million to the project, but the cost will still be in line with what the district has budgeted.

The construction project to modernize LHS, scheduled to break ground this summer, is part of the $87 million bond issue that district voters approved in May 2017.

District Chief Operations Officer Kyle Hayden will present an updated plan from McCownGordon Construction, which includes some items “above and beyond original masterplan scope,” at the school board’s Monday meeting.

Some of the extra items in the design plan include theatrical lighting and motorized rigs in the auditorium, kitchen equipment and west gym and natatorium painting.

Hayden will ask the board to approve the extra $1.73 million — that would bring the total for improvements at LHS to $46.2 million, and the total for district construction projects with that firm to $78.17 million. The projects’ total still falls well within the budget of the $87 million bond, though.

The presentation also contains a breakdown of construction phases over a timeline of 27 months.

The school, constructed in 1954, is composed of 12 different additions or major renovations that were completed at different points over the years, the Journal-World has reported, though none were comprehensive.

In other business, the board will:

• Vote on whether to create the Late Start Time Implementation Committee, to comprise building and administrative staff. The committee would work to formulate a plan to delay high school start times, which it would present to the school board by July 31 for implementation beginning in August 2020.

• Consider a $69,200 contract with Greenway Strategy Group to help the district develop a five-year strategic plan.

“Contracting with an experienced outside agency is beneficial as they come in with an unbiased approach, using industry knowledge to achieve objectives, and cohesion among initiatives to deliver the best results,” Superintendent Anthony Lewis wrote in a memo to the board. “The plan must be centered on a belief of high expectations for all students, and developed with a racial equity lens.”

• Consider approving the 2019 capital improvement plan. Any projects that cost more than $20,000 will come back to the board for approval.

• Hear an update on the district’s AVID program, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, “a college readiness system for elementary through higher education that is designed to increase schoolwide performance and learning,” according to agenda materials.

The school board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Complete agenda materials are available online at usd497.org.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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