Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Basehor-Linwood school district officals pondering next move

April 16, 2003

During the next few months, Basehor-Linwood officials will look with new eyes at every square foot the district owns.

In light of voters' resounding defeat earlier this month of a $29 million bond issue, school officials are concerned about space. Under state law, next January is the earliest the school board could ask voters to consider another bond issue. And another four years would pass before new schools could be constructed, school officials say.

With the district's student growth running at 5 percent annually, Superintendent Cal Cormack believes space will be a real issue sooner, rather than later.

"What we have to do now is ask ourselves, how we can use this most effectively," he said.

During a special election on Jan. 25, and again in the general election April 1, voters turned down the bond issue that would have financed a new middle school, as well as renovations to Basehor, Linwood and Glenwood elementary schools.

"We have some decisions to make between now and next fall," said Cormack, who is retiring at the end of June.

In addition to considering short-term space issues, the school board must take a deep breath, push itself away from the failed bond issues and initiate talks with community members.

"They need to pay attention to what the community is saying to them," Cormack said.

The board and community must reach consensus on how to respond to growth in the district, he said.

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