Archive for Friday, December 21, 2012

Baldwin board narrows plan option on auditorium redesign

The Baldwin school board agreed Monday to develop plans for the reuse of the junior high school auditorium, which will include a large multipurpose room.

The Baldwin school board agreed Monday to develop plans for the reuse of the junior high school auditorium, which will include a large multipurpose room.

December 21, 2012

The Baldwin school board agreed Monday to spend a maximum of $600,000 to remodel the Baldwin Junior High School auditorium with a design that will include a large multipurpose room for assemblies and sports events.

But the board passed on a design option that would have provided a 46-by-84-foot space in the remodeled auditorium for a long-term practice facility for wrestlers. That would have accommodated two competition-sized wrestling mats.

Instead the board chose to explore options for a multipurpose room, which would have space for only one competition mat. Although board members acknowledged the wrestling program would have to move to the space in the next two to three years, the room will be designed to allow such uses as grade-level assemblies and physical education classes.

Board members also noted that a multipurpose room could be converted into four classrooms in the future if needed.

The board has been discussing the auditorium’s possible remodeling since May and the district’s architectural firm, DLR Group, has been involved since June. On Monday, Doug Loveland, DLR Group project manager, presented three designs developed after architects met during the last month with a steering committee of board members Ruth Barkley, Chad Christie and Sheryl Gill.

With the decision to design for a multipurpose room, Loveland was asked to develop plans for the auditorium that would get the greatest use from the $600,000 remaining from the 2008 bond issue. The board will consider those plans at its January meeting.

In addition to the multipurpose room, the project is to include:

• An enhanced junior music room with a higher ceiling to improve sound quality, a 620-square-foot rehearsal room and new office and storage space.

• Two classrooms, which would be home for the East Kansas Educational Cooperative classes when it is Baldwin’s turn to house the program for five years starting in 2013.

• Storage space.

• “Light” renovation of the current junior high school weight room to remove walls and raise and soundproof the ceiling.

In other business, the board:

• Heard from Superintendent Paul Dorathy that there has been some interest in the former Marion Spring Elementary School. The board agreed to delay until January contracting with a real estate firm to market its excess properties.

• Approved purchase of a 2014 International 65-passenger bus for $78,263 from Allied Bus Sales. District financial director Cynde Frick said the company was the only bidder. The district canceled purchase of a bus that had been approved last month because the vehicle didn’t meet the district’s specifications, she said.

• Canceled the $27,000 remaining on a contract with Manning Construction to install irrigation and landscaping at Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center. The board then approved a $24,740 contract with Aspen Lawn and Landscape to do the work. Dorathy said neither Aspen nor any of the others bidders knew what problems might exist with the installed irrigation system, so the remaining work could cost more than the approved contract. Aspen will be on site in the coming weeks to make that determination.

• Rescheduled the Jan. 21 board meeting to Jan. 28.

• Learned that $37,000 was spent to install new sewer lines beneath the junior high locker rooms, which caused the district to find different venues for recent high school basketball games. Facilities director Charles James said work inside the building was done, but there could be more work required outside. With the unexpected cost, a scheduled $50,000 sewer line replacement project in the west hallway of the junior high school will be delayed until next year.


1776attorney 5 years, 5 months ago

At the time last Spring when this "extra" $600,000 was mentioned and the Jr. High Auditorium was discussed, it was reported by school board members that they had received a very high volume of negative calls about this proposal. The majority of callers wanted this $600,000 used to retire the bond early and reduce the mill levy accordingly.

As I predicted our school board members and superintendent are "tone deaf" to any opinions outside their sphere of "yes" people at the schools. Either the superintendent has some kind mystical powers over the school boards members or we have elected a school board that is equally as bad and dishonest as the previous one.

Once the architect offered to design some possible options for the auditorium I knew exactly what was going on. The offer to do this work for free is disingenuous and misleading. Sure, the architect will do the design for free but later will become the construction manager and collect their 10% of total costs on the back-end. So, their work is not free and their opinions are highly tainted towards pushing this project to completion, no matter what the taxpayers and voters want.

The country is in the middle of economic stagnation and will be in another recession next year perhaps. Many, many taxpayers in Baldwin City are financially stretched and yet the school district seems oblivious to the world outside the walls of their buildings.

I might also suggest that readers Google CAB school bonds. These type of bonds were pushed on many California school districts over the past fifteen years by Wall Street. These bonds require very little repayment for the first 10-15 years yet accrue interest. Beginning in year 15, the payments begin after accruing 15 years of interest. Wall Street sells them on the assumption that in 15 years taxpayer incomes will be 3 times higher than today and taxes should triple also.

So they borrow $50 million and build new schools and when the payments come due in 15 years the repayment amount is astronomical and the facilities are "old" and antiquated by then.

Needless to say, many California school districts are now approaching bankruptcy and the state government is attempting to outlaw CAB bonds.

Hopefully, this is not what Piper Jaffrey sold this superintendent and school board last month.


Stacy Napier 5 years, 5 months ago

You are absolutely correct. They don't care because we voted for it and they have the money and will spend it. They are gong to make all these improvements and then in 10 years they are going to want to build a new JH acorss Bullpup from the Intermediate center.

How about the contact to fix the irrigation system at the new primary center. Was there no warranty? Do we need an irrigation system at all? With the price of water in this town why not save the money on the water and the mowing.

In all it does nothing to teach our chlidren better.


Goldie 5 years, 5 months ago

Complete and total disappointment with the new board. You ran for your positions on the board based on fiscal responsibility yet you prove to be as inept as the last board. Save money ? Retire the bond ? No, spend it !


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