Archive for Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Basehor road crews grapple with winter’s wrath

February 4, 2004

Old man winter continues to wreak havoc on the Basehor-Linwood School District as precipitation during the weekend caused the cancellation of classes again on Monday.

This marked the third time classes have been cancelled this school year due to inclement weather.

Although conditions have caused students to miss classes, administrators are confident they won't have to extend the school year to make up lost time.

Under Kansas law, school districts are required to build-in at least 1,116 hours into its yearly schedule.

Don Swartz, district director of building operations, said 1,175 hours are built into Basehor-Linwood's schedule. So far, the school district has lost approximately 19.74 hours due to weather.

During the winter months, administrators use two factors to decide whether to cancel school.

"The first is, are the buses able to get through the roads safely?" he said.

The second factor is temperature, Swartz said.

"There isn't any set number," he said, "but when the wind chill is minus and the wind is high, you have to start thinking of the kids standing at bus stops."

Winter's wrath has also caused headaches for the Basehor public works department.

"In year's past we generally don't have as many ice storms," city superintendent Gene Myracle said. "This is the third ice storm we've had this year. Ice is really what digs into your material. Ice storms are the killer."

Approximately $7,000 has been spent this year on materials used to treat roads, compared with the $7,500 the department budgeted, Myracle said.

And while snow is a challenge, ice is even more of one.

"We'd rather have six inches of snow than any ice," he said. "Ice is tough to treat especially when the temperature is freezing or below freezing. Ice on the streets makes it tougher for citizens and for us."

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