Archive for Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Board member districts to change

August 14, 2002

The boundaries for the school board member districts could soon be redrawn.

A committee of five district patrons presented a proposal to the Baldwin Board of Education Monday night that would change current school board member district boundaries to make the population in them more even.

"With all of the proposals we looked at, this seemed to be the best," Committee Chairperson Blaine Cone said.

The proposal, presented by committee members Cone, Betty Bullock, Angie Burke, Maggie Hamilton and Debbie Oakleaf, maintains three districts, each district allowing the election of two board members and the election of an additional board member from one of the three districts.

The proposal recommends the following boundaries for school board member districts:

District 1 All areas to the west and north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and 1700 E. Road (Sixth Street in the Baldwin City limits) plus the area within the Baldwin City limits to the east of 1700 E. Road and north of U.S. Highway 56. The population of District 1 is 1,921.

District 2 All areas east of 1700 E. Road from the northern boundary of the district to the southern boundary of the district excluding the area within the city limits north of U.S. Highway 56. The population of District 2 is 2,439.

District 3 All areas to the west and south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and 1700 E. Road. The population of District 3 is 2,235.

Cone said the committee used the 2000 U.S. Census figures to determine the total population in each district. District 1 has fewer people because she said the committee expected that area to see the most growth during the next few years.

"District one will be a higher growth area," she said. "It's already grown since the 2000 Census because of FireTree Estates."

She said the change in district boundaries should cause everyone to take an interest in all of the district's elementary schools.

"All districts will have rural and town people," she said. "It will force us to pay more attention to our children's education as a whole.

"Hopefully with this split, everybody will be interested in all three of our schools and soon to be our fourth," she said.

The school board will discuss the district boundary changes at the next meeting.

In other business, the school board:

Approved in a 6-0 vote, Board President Ed Schulte was absent, the $7.4 million budget for the 2002-2003 school year, which is up from last year's $6.8 million budget.

The district will be receiving $3,890 per pupil, an increase of $20 from last year, from state funding. The district's estimated enrollment is 1,330 students.

The supplemental General Fund mill levy will be 22.723 mills.

Heard a facilities update from Frangkiser Hutchens architect Bill Woodhouse.

Woodhouse said the Marion Springs Elementary School project was supposed to have been completed before the start of school, but because of building manufacture problems, the district is still waiting for the delivery of its metal building. He said the site is ready and the project will be completed once the building is delivered.

He also said the new elementary school project is on schedule, but there has been additional expenses at the site. An extra $80,000 had to be spent to remove rock that was not detected during the initial borings.

He said the Kansas Department of Transportation is also requiring the addition of turn lanes and deceleration lanes on U.S. Highway 56. Early estimates were around $270,000, but Woodhouse said the highway improvements will actually be around $470,000.

But he said he wasn't concerned about going over budget because the bids came in lower than the estimates and there is $150,000 in a contingency fund.

Supt. James White said the excess dirt from the Baldwin Junior High project is being moved north of the ballfields, where it is being leveled for a new practice football field and track for BJHS.

White said the total cost will be less than $10,000 and save the district the cost of transporting the junior high students for track practice.

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