Archive for Thursday, January 17, 2008

The district news

Our View Editorial

January 17, 2008

The Baldwin School District certainly had more than its share of news this week and it was good, bad and in between.

Part of the good news was that Marion Springs Elementary School was again named a Governor's Achievement Award winner. It's the second time MSES has won the award in two tries. MSES has a long history of academic achievement and its good to see that continue.

The bad news was the announcement of the resignations of four long-time district employees who have meant so much to our schools in their combined 93 years of service. Tom Mundinger (Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center principal), Marilyn Fischer (BESIC fifth grade teacher), Bernie Bierman (Baldwin High School science/physical education teacher) and Ginny Honomichl (BHS science teacher) will be missed.

But, back to the good news. With Mundinger's announcement, he also said he hopes to continue as BESIC principal if it can be worked out with the school district. We certainly hope that can - and does - happen. He's been as good of an administrator as the district has ever had. We can't afford to lose him : yet.

As for that in between news, we'll leave the recommendation made for new facilities for the district in that category until we learn more details. What emerged from last week's facilities' committee meeting was a plan to replace Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center and fixing up Baldwin Junior High School, as well as eventually building a new BJHS on down the road.

We've been in the replacing BESPC camp from the beginning. However, we had hoped that it would continue to be at the present Chapel Street location rather than near BESIC. The just revealed plan also calls for the new BJHS to be located there, with Baldwin High School taking over the entire complex that is currently shared by BHS and BJHS.

While in theory, we think all of that makes sense, especially given the investment the district made in purchasing the big parcel of land where BESIC was built, there are concerns.

Aside from abandoning the Chapel Street location - which Baker University would love to acquire - another concern regards traffic to what will become the BESPC/BESIC/BJHS/ball fields complex. Currently, there's basically one way in and one way out and that's off busy U.S. Highway 56. Additional entries and exits must be added.

Lastly, we're concerned that when Baker acquires the current district property at Chapel Street, the historic building now housing the district office may go away. It's been a cornerstone of Baldwin City for a century. We hope that doesn't happen, but we'll throw out that concern for all parties to consider.


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