Lawrence school board to hear annual report on building, equipment improvements
photo by: Mackenzie Clark/Journal-World File Photo
The Lawrence school district is planning for $22.5 million of building and equipment improvements during this school year and the next, according to the district’s capital improvement plan.
During its meeting on Monday, the school board will hear a presentation about those plans as part of the district’s annual capital outlay report.
The district has a capital outlay fund that it uses for facility maintenance and upgrades. Revenue from local and state taxes is used to fund the projects — for the current school year, the district has received about $10.6 million in capital outlay funding from these sources, according to a presentation included in the meeting agenda. The district’s capital outlay fund also has reserve cash and some other revenues, which means the fund has a total of about $15.3 million for the district to use.
Under the capital improvement plan, the district is slated to spend $11.1 million during the current school year and $11.4 million during the 2021-22 school year on capital projects. Much of that money will be going toward regular maintenance projects that the district undertakes every year, such as maintaining the high school athletic fields. The biggest item that’s not one of these annual maintenance projects is a $1.1 million roof improvement at Sunflower Elementary, and many of the others are building improvements across the district that are budgeted at less than $300,000 each.
The district notes in a memo to the board that the capital improvement plans are fluid and subject to change. The full presentation is included in the meeting agenda on the district’s website, usd497.org.
The board is not scheduled to take any action on the report, but it could be included as a consent agenda item for approval during the board’s meeting in March, according to the memo.
In other business, the board will consider making a change to the current school year calendar to make March 5 a professional development day for elementary school faculty rather than a standard instructional day, which means elementary students would have the day off.
In a memo to the board, administrative staff said it was proposing the change to help faculty prepare for the district’s move back to fully in-person instruction later in March.
The school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday through an online conference call. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district encourages the public to watch the meeting on Midco channel 26 or online at youtube.com/USD497.
Those who want to speak during public comments at the meeting can still do so. The district asks for comments to be sent by email to PatronCommentary@usd497.org. Comments can also be emailed to board members ahead of the meeting. Their contact information is available on the district’s website at usd497.org/Board.
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