Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

USD 348 board debates location of ballfield storage facility

The USD 348 Board of Education discussed changing the previously approved location of a storage facility at the ballfield complex.

The USD 348 Board of Education discussed changing the previously approved location of a storage facility at the ballfield complex.

February 17, 2011

Location, location, location.

That’s the major factor for the USD 348 Board of Education in deciding whether to move forward with the proposed storage facility near the ball field complex. Location of the building, along with the cost and educational impact, are the major players in this battle.

After approving the plan and voting to move forward with bids three weeks ago, the school board now wants to hear from all parties before making a decision. Nonetheless, no bid proposals were sent out after the Jan. 24 meeting because of concerns about the location of the building.

“Kyle (Trendal), Steve (Friend) and I looked at after we received feedback from staff,” Superintendent Paul Dorathy said. “As we looked at it, yes there are other places it can go, but the problem is there is additional cost with any other site. Unless you go further west up Elm Street, but the further you go up there, the more inconvenient it will be for its intended purpose. Anywhere else we go we will have to move utilities or do more site work.”

The formerly approved plan was to build a 30-feet by 56-feet storage building near the ball field complex on the west edge of town. The facility will primarily be used by the Baldwin City Recreation Commission, which has partnered with USD 348 to maintain the fields.

After a long discussion at the Jan. 13 and Jan. 24 meetings, the school board decided to build the storage facility west of Bullpup Drive near the middle of the complex. That location is near a pond and environmental center used Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center and Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center.

Board Member Scott Lauridsen spoke to the BESPC and BESIC Parents as Teachers Organizations about the proposed facility. He brought their concerns back to the school board Monday night.

“I had to the opportunity to discuss it with that group and I got some pretty good feedback,” Lauridsen said. “I was looking for a workable solution that would minimize the impact of the educational value versus the usability of the facility. There is quite a strong feeling from that group, as you might expect, about the long-term educational value of that space. They convinced me it would have a negative impact on that site.”

Lauridsen said the group had three options that might work better. They suggested constructing a smaller building at the proposed site and a larger one up the hill to the west near the watertower. Their other two suggestions were to construct the entire building near the watertower or pay extra and build it where it should be, which is east of Bullpup Drive in between the two west fields.

“The spot that would be the very idea spot would be in between the two fields on the west,” Dorathy said. “The problem is there are multitudes of utilities underground there. To move those would cost a lot.”

If the school board constructs the building between the two west fields, they will have to pay to move water, gas, electric and sewer lines. All of those run underground in that location just east of Bullpup Drive.

The board also discussed building the facility in the northwest corner of the ball field complex. There is a large sewer line that runs underground in that spot. That sewer line has already been moved twice during the construction of the ball fields.

School Board Member Ande Parks said the concern should be preserving the environmental study area.

“If we had a chance to buy a fantastic, ecological piece of ground located perfectly for our two buildings with our youngest kids, for $20,000 of bond money that we had already encumbered and was available, I don’t think we’d hesitate,” Parks said. “I think we’d think it was a steal. I don’t want to give this piece of ground up because we don’t want to spend that money. I would really encourage us to think about encumbering some extra expense. We can’t get that property back and I think we’re losing something if we put the building in that location.”

The school board asked Dorathy and Kyle Trendal, Baldwin City resident and architect who is working with USD 348 on the project, to look at the cost of moving the utilities. The school board would like to know how much extra it might cost to construct the building in another location. Those figures should be presented at the March 7 meeting.

Comments

Torch 3 years, 10 months ago

If we move it across the street from the elementary school perhaps KDOT will turn 56 into a six-lane highway.

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ksrush 3 years, 10 months ago

Put the building where the BOE lives - fantasyland

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 10 months ago

Every time I read one these articles detailing the thought process of the BOE I want to bang my head on my desk!

Has anyone - just one person - involved in any of the decisions regarding the IC, the PC, the old PC, athletic facilities or any other project undertaken by a BC BOE ever consider doing any planning prior to implementation?

Who was responsible for the snafu that meant the sewer line had to be moved twice?

Geez Louise. I'm glad none of these folks have ever been lost in a paper bag.

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 10 months ago

Seems like they are in the planning stages right now. Implementation has not yet been achieved as there is no storage facility built, purchased, nor placed as far as I can tell. But you needed to rant and vent, didn't you? Feel better now?

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TheOnlyGreyghost 3 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps she didn't write slowly enough for you to comprehend what she was saying. Let me take a stab at it.

She is asking why they didn't get this figured out before the ballfields were built, before the utility lines were placed, etc. If that had all been figured out prior to any actual digging and construction, then perhaps the utilities would not already have needed to be moved and would not need to be moved AGAIN in order to place the shed in the most logical spot---between the ballfields.

You're welcome.

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 10 months ago

Ah, Ghost, so you are going to side with someone who thinks there has never been ANY planning done, at ALL, by the board and administrators at USD348? It has never come to down to tough decisions, or budget issues, or things outside of their control, right? Ok, so be it. However, I always thought you were more level-headed and reasonable that that.

Let's all jump on the bandwagon. No one at USD348 knows how to do anything right, never have, never will. Let's get all knew ones. Good luck finding anyone who can do significantly better who would actually want to come to this town full of un-supportive, bash first, blame everyone else, ingrates.

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greyghost 3 years, 10 months ago

Watch out, hipgrrrrl, ol' bloggeyboo will rip your effing head off for speaking of the BOE in such a negative light.

I think we should put the storage shed on the north side of 56 hwy. Then we will pass a bond issue to pay for the lighted tunnel that would be required, of course.

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 10 months ago

I would suggest the tunnel should also be heated in order to ensure the utmost comfort for those using it. Additionally, after it is built, "we" should realize that the lights are placed in the incorrect locations, that maybe a tunnel requires ingress and egress and that the city should be responsible for providing a high-tech and expensive solution to keep the maraudering cows out.

Outdoor athletic facilities = maintenance. Maintenance = storage facilities. Athletic facilities that were planned and implemented with no thought to storage facilities = lack of planning.

Watch out for those paper bags, Blog!

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Bloggerboo 3 years, 10 months ago

Pretty sure that was about money. Hey, I am the first to admit we don't have folks in the BoE who are willing to stand up and say, "nice things are going to cost money". We built a half-sized gym in the BESIC, we put a 6-lane practice track that made certain we could never hold a real track meet there, ever. We have a high school gym that we can't play varsity games in, and a JH gym that we do play varsity games in, and it has so many dead spots in it you can't take two steps at either end without finding one. Same goes for our technology situation in most of the schools. But, those things weren't about lack of planning. It is always, and will always be, about the money. They didn't think people would vote for the full enchilada. And they may have been right, showing the short-sightedness of this town's citizens.

I can say these things with complete confidence because I was at those meetings where a storage facility option was brought up regarding the new ball fields, and it was the first thing axed when it became obvious the money was too tight.

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 10 months ago

You are an idiot. It is all about planning. They just built this stuff. They put the utilities in and planed where they would go. They built the school and put the sewer line in. They have this great master plan to build all three schools on this property. Now they have two of them and they didn't plan for what they wanted to put there.

And it is all about the money. They cry about not having any and then they make stupid moves to waste what they have. Why is this even an issue. It should have been in the master plan. Then if they didn't have money for it when it came down to it just wait to build it.

On top of that they are providing this for Parks and Rec's use mostly, but they refuse to come up with money to make the intersection better.

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