KAKE | Wichita, Kansas | News, Weather, & Sports

UPDATE: Board approves additional $5 million to repair College Hill Elementary

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

Stay up-to-date with KAKE News:

WICHITA, Kan. -- The Wichita School Board has approved an additional $5 million to make repairs to College Hill Elementary.

The school building suffered extensive damage in a fire last August, just before the start of the new school year. The board had already approved $750,000 toward repairs. The additional $5 million that was requested included $4.75 million from the district's insurance reserve fund and $250,000 from the capital outlay fund.

District documents show the damage to the school is much more extensive than previously thought. The board approved the funding during their regularly scheduled Monday night meeting.


Previous Story:

The Wichita School Board could approve an additional $5 million to help make repairs to College Hill Elementary after a fire caused extensive damage last August.

The board is expected to make a decision at its regularly-scheduled meeting Monday night.

District documents show the damage to the school is much more extensive than previously thought.

Board members have already approved $750,000 toward repairs. The additional $5 million that is being requested includes $4.75 million from the district's insurance reserve fund and $250,000 from the capital outlay fund.

District documents show the damage to the school is much more extensive than previously thought.

"We did find structural damage," said Julie Hedrick, Division Director of Facilities.

Because of the extent of that structural damage, they've pulled everything out down to the sheet rock in some spots, Hedrick said.

She says that does create an opportunity for the district to bring the school, that was built in 1976, up to current code as its rebuilt. That includes making the school ADA compliant.

"In the long run that will save us a considerable amount of money, because if we had to tear things out and replace it in the future, the cost would be much more expensive," Hedrick said.

The additional $5 million would bring the total amount to $5.75 million.

Bringing the building up to code would cost about $1 million. Repairs to the structural damage would be $3 million. Replacements for teacher items, cleaning supplies, and furniture would be $800,000. And since investigators say the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, several hundred thousands dollars would go toward upgrades to that system.

District leaders say they expect $5 million of the $5.75 million to be reimbursed by insurance. The majority of the out-of-pocket expenses, $500,000, would be for the upgrades. The other $250,000 would cover the deductible for the insurance company.

Monday afternoon, Board President Jeff Davis said he expected the proposal to pass.

"I don't expect any surprises but you never know," Davis said.

District leaders say the money is essential to repairing the school and getting it reopened by the fall.

"We want to get the kids back to College Hill" Hedrick said.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
KAKE TV 1500 N. West Street Wichita, KS 67203-1323 (316) 943-4221
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 249358461 - kake.com/a?a=249358461