Cafeteria needs up for school board approval

Four new members of the Lawrence school board will get an opportunity to approve some new purchases to accommodate new students arriving at recently reconfigured schools for the upcoming school year.

Monday night, board members will consider spending nearly $64,000 on new tables and chairs to be used in the cafeterias at Free State and Lawrence high schools, which will open in August as four-year high schools.

By moving ninth-graders onto the campuses, the district has found itself buying more lockers, purchasing new equipment and hiring contractors to expand and adjust classrooms and other school areas.

Next up: an additional 51 tables and 320 chairs to be purchased from the lower of two qualifying bidders. The furnishings will accompany a handful of surplus tables and chairs being transferred from Sunset Hill School to provide enough new seating to handle the expanded lunchtime crowds at each high school.

The board meeting is set for 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive, although board members will be expected to gather early so they can have a new group photo taken.

The meeting will be the first for four new board members elected in April: Rick Ingram, Shannon Kimball, Randy Masten and Keith Diaz Moore. They will join incumbents Mark Bradford, Bob Byers and Vanessa Sanburn.

On their agenda:

• Elect a president and vice president for the coming year, swear in new board members and handle a number of administrative tasks related to the board transition.

• Approve the district’s schedule of fees and meal prices for the 2011-12 school year. Regular lunch prices, for example, would increase by 5 cents per meal.

• Approve a change order to formally accept a donation and to close the books on the construction project to build restrooms, concessions and a press box at Free State High School.

• Buy equipment and furnishings for instrument storage, for $70,940.

• Buy tables and chairs for high school cafeterias, for $63,971.

• Receive a report regarding upcoming plans for the 2011-12 district budget.

• Hire New Directions Behavioral Health LLC to provide the district with an Employee Assistance Program, as recommended by the district’s Fringe Benefit Committee. Estimated cost: $67,000 for two years.

• Discuss plans for orientation and goals-setting sessions.