Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

School facilities to be topic of phone survey

November 15, 2007

It's now time for the public to voice their opinions about an upcoming bond issue for the Baldwin School District.

This time it will by way of a telephone survey -- beginning this weekend.

Jayhawk Consulting will be conducting a survey within the district. The questions asked will be regarding district facilities and the potential bond issue.

"It's important that we know what the public thinks," Supt. Paul Dorathy said. "They will contact patrons until they have 300 complete surveys."

This survey will be run very similarly to the one that was done in October 2005, also by Jayhawk Consulting. District patrons will randomly be called and asked if they want to answer several questions regarding facilities and cost of a bond issue.

The questions will regard which facilities need to be renovated or rebuilt entirely and about the cost of a bond issue.

"We want to know, from a representation of the patrons out there, how they feel about different issues to do with the bond," Dorathy said. "We want to know whether or not they are supportive of those, because the facilities' committee is at a point where it needs to turn different directions. Finding out whether there is support for different projects will make a difference on which direction we go with this."

The idea from the survey stems from the previous facilities' committee meeting. At that meeting, the idea of a new high school was proposed for the first time. Also several other ideas were tossed around, but the committee ended the night with a decision far from being made.

"It was good to have all of those ideas thrown out there, but it's just unfortunate with the timing," Board Member Ande Parks said of the last facilities' meeting.

Before that meeting, the committee was reaching a slight consensus on what facilities will be included in a bond issue.

After no agreement was made last meeting, the DLR architects suggested the idea of a survey. They said it would let the committee know what a general portion of the public wants to support and how much they are willing to pay.

"Some of the questions will be like what they can support per month," Dorathy said. "They want to go into that and we'll see what people feel like they could afford if there is an agreeable bond issue put in front of them. That is going to guide how much we might try to put on a bond issue."

At the September facilities' meeting, the architects figured up what the cost would be for a $29 million bond issue.

The annual cost would be $180 on a $100,000 house and $360 on a $200,000 house. That would equal out to be $15 or $30 per month for houses of those prices.

Dorathy is hopeful the patrons will help the committee decide on a recommendation to bring to the school board by Jan. 1.

"I think it will help direct us, because we need to know whether people are supportive of the suggestions that have come out at the meetings," Dorathy said. "If we get something back that 90 percent of the people do not support this option, then obviously we need to back off of that. We need to see what people will support or will not support."

Jayhawk Consulting was chosen over another group that was recommended by the district's architectural firm, DLR Group, for several reasons.

"They were able to do it in a much quicker amount of time," Dorathy said. "He is hoping to start surveying this weekend. That will give us a quick turn around so the facilities' committee can meet shortly after Thanksgiving break. We are hopeful this will provide us the information quickly."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.