School board meets with architects
The school board is interviewing architectural firms to take on capital improvements in the district that will include building additions at Vinland Elementary School, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin High School and the district office, and renovation of the Baldwin Elementary School gym.
The board interviewed Frangkiser Hutchens, a firm with an office in Leawood, and requested to meet with more firms May 22.
Frangkiser Hutchens specializes in school facilities, and services include developing a master plan for the district through district and community input.
"We work with a lot of school districts," said Dick Ritchie about the firm. "We think the community needs to be involved from the beginning."
Supt. James White said he has known Ritchie, a former superintendent, for several years, but has not had the opportunity to work with his firm. The firm is currently working nearby in the Wellsville school district.
Board members liked the concept of having a master plan that would outline the district's needs.
"We think it is important to look at something as a whole, and not have to build something else next year," Ritchie said.
"We need to put together a good, solid plan with input from the community," White said. "We have some real pressing needs at Vinland and Baldwin Junior High School. To build something, then find out it was where we need to build something else would be terrible."
The master plan, which Ritchie said runs $7,500-$10,000, could change the district's capital improvement plan especially with the growing population in the district. White said the district could be looking at another elementary school soon.
"We could see an explosion at any time," White said of the growth. "If those houses going up have children moving into them, it could be next year."
White said the hiring of an architect does not require a bid. He plans to set up interviews with other firms at a 8 p.m. May 22 meeting at the district office.
"I think it's important we don't wait," said board member Curtis Trarbach.
Current plans for the district, planned to be funded by the local option budget, are:
A $100,000 renovation of the Baldwin Elementary School gym, as well as installation of air conditioning in the Baldwin Junior High School gym the only place in the district that doesn't have it for an anticipated cost of $200,000.
A $440,000 addition at Vinland Elementary school, where the library doubles as a music room and a computer lab.
A $540,000 building addition at Baldwin Junior High School, in conjunction with spending $120,000 for parking and bus/vehicle pick-up and drop-off at BJHS.
A $120,000 renovation of the BJHS auditorium and an $80,000 district office addition.
A $1.5 million auditorium addition and parking lot expansion at Baldwin High School.