Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Construction of multi-use building among recommendations in Baldwin school district administrator facility report

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education received on Monday a report from district administrators making recommendations of the future use of all district facilities. Among its recommendations was the construction of a new multi-use building to house district administrative offices, a bus barn and other programs with the sale of the old Middle School on Chapel Street.

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education received on Monday a report from district administrators making recommendations of the future use of all district facilities. Among its recommendations was the construction of a new multi-use building to house district administrative offices, a bus barn and other programs with the sale of the old Middle School on Chapel Street.

April 25, 2012

The Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education received a facilities report Monday from district administrators, which recommends another closed school be put on the market and the construction of a multi-use building for district administrative offices and other needs.

In presenting the report to the board, Superintendent Paul Dorathy said the recommendations were for guidance and the board would have the final say on facility decisions. He added that he didn’t expect any decisions Monday but that the board did need to approve a facilities plan before adopting the 2012-2013 capital outlay budget, he said.

To that end, the board scheduled a special meeting to consider the facilities report for 6:30 p.m. May 7.

The report suggested the district get rid of the closed Marion Springs Elementary School through either a sale or donation. The school was closed at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

However, the administrators did not recommend the district sell or donate Vinland Elementary, also closed at the end of the last school year. It was recommended that building be kept as home for high school wrestling and cheerleading programs should the Chapel Street gym be sold. The building also could be used to for as classrooms for an intermediate class level should the district’s enrollment spike, the report said. Vinland Elementary was also recommended to future site of the East Central Kansas Cooperative.

The district has had the complex of buildings on the north side of Chapel Street for sale for more than two years. The complex includes the old primary center, the gymnasium and the old middle school that is now houses district offices. The administrators support selling all the buildings, but noted the old primary center could be donated to the Baldwin City Recreation Commission to house programs currently found at other sites in the district.

The administrators proposed the two metal buildings on the south side of Chapel Street be traded to Baker University for rent consideration of the district’s use of Liston Stadium.

The report also recommended the district raze the vacant house on its Sixth Street Rhuelen property and the Parents as Teachers/bus barn on Quayle Street.

The Rhuelen property was suggested as a possible site for a new multi-use building recommended in the report. The building would be home to district administrative offices, a bus barn, district maintenance and programs relocated through the sale of district property.

Dorathy said the administrators envisioned the multi-use center be a metal building. It was the report’s recommendation the district finance the building through a loan from the capital outlay fund, but he said money from the sale of district property could also be used for the project.

The board also received a preliminary look at the 2013 capital outlay fund. It contained a long list of possible capital expenditures for the 2012-2013 school year.

Dorathy said the board traditionally was given a shorter list of possible capital projects once the district knew how much money would be available in the capital outlay fund.

Comments

Torch 1 year, 11 months ago

Why not?

It's for the kids!

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hyperinflate 1 year, 11 months ago

Hell yeah! Build it! And what's better, if TerriLois Gregory gets to implement her vision for school finance there will be no limit on the amount of property taxes that the School Board can assess us. Metal building, hah! The Administration can have a seven-story modernist concrete and glass monument to architectural excellence and elegance to match the luxury school buildings provided to the children. After all, can you imagine the psychological damage that will be inflicted on the children should their parents ever have to stop by the Administration building to sign up their children for school in a metal building that also houses transportation vehicles? Oh, the damage to their long-term educational opportunities is incalculable!

And by the same token, why should they settle for a metal building to protect their busses? If property tax limits are gone why not build a F5 tornado-resistent transportation facility with car/bus elevators so that the vehicles can be stored one or two stories above ground to prevent any possibility of damage from flooding? This would also be the natural home for the 24x7 realtime bus surveillance monitoring headquarters for the on-bus video streaming system. It would, of course, demand a War Games-like control room complete with sufficient supporting and management staff to ensure a 110% guaranteed safe and stress-free environment for the chidden, because, after all, they are our precious little snowflakes and our future. There is simply nothing, nothing at all, that should limit us from their absolute and utter well-being at all times.

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Stacy Napier 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes build it !!!

But when you do make the doors too small to get the buses in, just like you built a great ball complex with no parking. What a joke. Cars were parked in the no parking zone all up Elm and Bullpup Dr and in the grass on one side of the street.

Oh yes they can spend and build it, but they can't plan worth a poop.

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1776attorney 1 year, 11 months ago

I have to say after reading this article that I think it’s finally time for a new superintendent and administration in USD 348. After having been hood-winked by Superintendent Dorathy and the previous school board numerous times over, I personally feel insulted and demeaned as a taxpayer and long time (6 times longer than Mr. Dorathy) resident of Baldwin City.

The taxpayers of Baldwin City currently have the highest property taxes of any city in Douglas County. We have retired people in this city who have been forced to sell their homes because their property taxes exceeded their ability to pay. We are paying for the extravagance and poor decisions of Mr. Dorathy and previous school boards in building new schools in the worst economic times in 100 years. We were deceived and lied to by the past school board numerous times.

This is why the voting citizens of Baldwin City essentially threw out the previous school board. Now we have an opportunity to see if these new board members remember why they were elected or if they will meet a similar fate.

Let me address several of the issues on this article—

New Admin Building- For the administration to suggest that taxpayers spend another $300,000 to $ 800,000 for a brand new administration building is a demonstration of how out of touch or delusional these people are. As taxpayers, we should say you screwed us once over, we’re not falling for these extravagances again.

Old Building Property North of Chapel Street- the only commercially responsible method of realizing a maximum return to taxpayer is to market and sell the property in whole. That includes the total property from 6th to 8th Street and Chapel to Baker Streets.

Donating the old elementary school, no matter to what organization, is not acting in a fiduciary beneficial manner to taxpayers. You have the issue of which organization is chosen and more importantly it does not offer monetary compensation to the district.

The school district still assumes all responsibility for the asbestos and lead paint throughout the old school buildings when donating property. These costs could easily approach $100,000 in abatement costs.

Secondarily, carving off the old high school from the total property guarantees the old high school section will never sell. The school district will be on the hook for that property for years. For a developer to buy the old high school and maximize their return they would have to tear down the building just to have enough developable land to build on and realize a profit.

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1776attorney 1 year, 11 months ago

The school district needs to be patient and sell the property as a whole. This is the only way to assure that taxpayers are protected and compensated appropriately.

Two Metal Buildings- While Baker might want this land to expand their campus one day, I am told they prefer cash payments from the district to cover upkeep and repairs to the football stadium cause by the additional use by the high school teams.

Swapping the buildings for stadium rental payments isn’t a good deal for taxpayers. The school district might save money on the rent payments, but that’s no guarantee those savings will ever be passed on to taxpayers. It’s more likely those savings will be used for more extravagances within the school district.

The rural taxpayers (who pay more than 55% of the school district property taxes) should be the most insulted. Their 2 schools were closed. Mr. Dorathy, the administration and the previous school board insisted this was necessary for budgetary reasons. It now appears that was bunk. I guess they thought they could always fool the country folk.

All income from the sale of old district property should be used to reduce the school districts debt and property taxes for taxpayers. That’s how the system is supposed to work.

To suggest that these profits be used for additions to the current Taj Mahal school compound just demonstrates what a fantasy world the school district exists within.

We elected a new school board to guide the district differently from the previous board and the clamp down on the superintendent. We shall next see if these people understand why they were elected.

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1776attorney 1 year, 11 months ago

I seem to recall reading in this newspaper within the past 9 months how superintendent Dorathy was worried about paying the shockingly high costs of electricity at the new schools. Now he is suggesting building additional facilities and giving away old facilities that should be sold and the proceeds directed back to taxpayers as debt or tax reductions.

It is really bizzaro-world here that after the bond issue, new schools, rural school closings, and these new suggests, that we taxpayers are subjecting ourselves to more of the same year after year. It doesn't ever get any wiser or better managed.

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Goldie 1 year, 11 months ago

The Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education received a facilities report Monday from district administrators, which recommends another closed school be put on the market and the construction of a multi-use building for district administrative offices and other needs.

I would love to know who these district administrators are, they should be run out of the school district. This article indicates a complete loss of a grasp on reality.

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1776attorney 1 year, 11 months ago

Lest we forget, the school district essentually shut down their own library services and dumped hundreds of students into the city library system for cost saving reasons.

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1776attorney 1 year, 11 months ago

Year after year after year we, as taxpayers, are presented with this mis-management and poor decisionmaking from the school district. In better economic times, with wiser decisions and guidance, perhaps a modernization of our schools is good. But under current economic struggles and instabilities, we have not been presented with wise guidance or management from the superintendent, administration or past school boards.

How long are we, as taxpayers and voters, going to subject ourselves to this never-ending situation?

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Julie Craig 1 year, 11 months ago

Since we have vacant buildings, we should just use those for the Administration offices. Why do we need to deplete the Capital Outlay Fund for this? We need to keep up the routine maintenance of the existing equipment, facilities and buses. What else is on the list for the Capital Outlay money?

When some of our bonds are paid off, then consider additional upgrades.

We will all be keeping an eye on the new budget for a mill levy decrease. The savings from closing the outlying elementary schools should show up this year. Right?

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