Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Wichita Public Schools recently celebrated the completion of its first bond projects with the $370 million bond issue with the “touch the turf” events at Heights, Northwest and South High Schools. There has been a lot of work the district has done behind the scenes as well. Here are a few of the items that are currently underway.
To ensure fiscal responsibility and completion of the projects with the $370 million bond issue, the Board of Education voted to establish an Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee will monitor the status of all projects, review expenditures and financial commitments associated with the projects and review the sale of all general obligation bonds. The first meeting will be Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m. at Earhart.
The members were appointed by the Board of Education, the Superintendent, United Teachers of Wichita and the Service Employees Union. Other members include one representative from the Diversity Equity and Accountability Committee, the Master Plan Feeder Pattern Planning Team and two representatives from CARE (Citizens Alliance for Responsible Education).
The Oversight Committee members are Janice Bailey, Darcy Bluma, Jacqueline Bujanda, Shawn Chastain, Robin Cooks, Bill Faflick, Ray Frederick, Jeff Gannon, Vickie Glancy-Cannon, Susan Hussey, Kerri Kuhlman, Doug Kupper, Larry Landwehr, Jill Massey, Jim Means, Randy Mousley, K.C. Ohaebosim, Sarah Olson, Kyle Sanders, Jean Schodorf, Dick Schumacher, Randy Thon, Bob Thurman, Adam Voncannon, Paul Wanger, Ruth Windham and Donna Wright.
The Board of Education established an Oversight Committee for the 2000 bond issue. Because of the success of that committee, the BOE established a similar committee for the 2008 bond issue.
The Bel Aire City Council has taken action to approve a proposal by the Wichita Public Schools to purchase 140 acres for the new northeast high school and K-8 school for $1.781 million.
The district is proposing to purchase 40 acres by the southeast corner of 53rd St. North and Woodlawn for the K-8 school and 100 acres near the northeast corner of 53rd Street North and Rock Road for the new northeast high school.
Details on the offer will have to be discussed by the Wichita Board of Education before there is an official contract agreement.
The first school to receive bond issue improvements is Seltzer Elementary. The district will take construction bids for the new classroom addition at the end of September. Construction will begin soon after the bids are approved.
The district will soon take bids to begin work adding brand new tennis courts at East, Heights, Northwest and South High Schools.
All the architects for the 24 projects in Phase 1 have been approved by the Board of Education. The architects for the eight schools in Phase 1C were approved on August 24. The district plans to start approving architects for the schools in Phase 2 in spring 2010.
FEMA has approved funding for the construction of safe rooms for all schools in Phase 1 that currently don’t have FEMA safe rooms, with the exception of East High School. The district expects to receive FEMA funding for East, but the size of the school’s project will take more time to review.
More information on the bond issue can be found on the Wichita Public Schools’ website at www.usd259.com/news/bond2008.