Jeff West school board seeks citizens for planning committee
The Jefferson West Board of Education will hire a local firm to provide architectural plans and building costs for a complex to replace the bus barn and storage Quonset.
Superintendent Scott Myers said the board wants a firm that can put together some general concepts and then determine the most economical type of structure to build.
Wrapped into the plans will be a new district office given the possibility that a buyer can be found for the current office. Jefferson County has inquired about the availability of the building for locating a satellite ambulance station.
Myers said the property has a valuation of around $175,000 and that would help build a new complex and solve some other problems. The old bus barn, a building that once served as the central office, is now considered almost dangerous and will have to be razed.
Myers said he has been told the building was originally a stable that was moved to Meriden from Fort Leavenworth.
To create district-wide building and improvement plan, the board will select a new planning committee from the general population.
“I’ve asked the board members to give me five to seven names each. Letters will go out soon to see how many of these people will help us,” Myers said.
The citizens committee will be in place by late November to begin assessing district needs and make recommendations for solutions to the board. The process is being timed so that if a bond issue is required, the tax levy would not go on the tax rolls until after 2012 when the high school bonds are paid off and the district will be out of debt.
Myers said that neither the administration nor the school board members will be involved with that committee. Outside consultants with the Kansas Association of School Boards will be asked to come in and lead the process much like the strategic planning committee that was impaneled four years ago.
Negotiations have been completed with the teaching staff and the agreement was ratified by the board Sept. 13. A 2.16 percent salary increase on the salary schedule was offset by decreasing the district’s obligation of paying 100 percent of the health insurance to 95 percent.
The same increase in salary was approved for classified personnel. Principals’ salaries were not increased but they were given a one time payment of $700. The superintendent, whose salary is just over the $100,000 mark, received no increase or additional payment at his request.
The board voted to pass a resolution to renew the capital outlay tax levy for another five years. The levy can range from nothing to a maximum of six mills. The resolution, published elsewhere in this edition, is subject to a protest petition.
A calculus II class presented an idea to the school board whereby they would go through Kansas State University to obtain a grant for a 45-foot wind turbine that would be located on the school grounds.
The class members, taught by Leslie Bruton, told the board that the project would cross class boundaries, involving math, science, technology, and other disciplines.
While the turbine is not expected to pay the light bill, the board was told it would repay the initial $2,000 local investment in about four years. The class has a donation of $500 and told the board it would come up with the rest of the money. The board OK’d the project. Students appearing before the board were Laura Newberry, Noah Livingston, and Mark Flood.
The district’s security system will undergo scrutiny in the near future, thanks to a Homeland Security grant.
The grant is a result of Jason Boyer, local police officer, and Dana Boyer, the school resource officer, attending a conference recently.
“We have a number of things in place ranging from door buzzers to name tags,” Myers said. “But we invite additional scrutiny. Nothing is more important than the safety of the children.”
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