Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tonganoxie school board briefs

January 10, 2007

Board discusses construction

School construction highlighted part of the discussions at Monday night's Tonganoxie school board meeting. School Superintendent Richard Erickson expressed his gratitude to board members and district patrons for approving the 2004 bond issue for school construction. Erickson said that last week, when classes resumed, he toured the high school, middle school and elementary school. And he was pleased with what he saw -- schools that are less crowded than before.

"Now we're providing students and teachers with the educational space that they need," Erickson said.

Construction manager Kris Roberts updated board members on the construction. Nearly everything was finished Monday. And Roberts said crews will return to Tonganoxie in May to work on the grade school.

Basically, she said the grade school construction will include:

  • Expansion of media center and kitchen.
  • Installing a new floor in the south gymnasium.
  • Installing air conditioning in the north gymnasium. Air conditioning was installed in the south gymnasium in 2006.
  • Reconfiguring the administration area so offices are larger -- and visitors will enter the building through the offices.

Board members thanked Roberts for her work in the district, with Ron Moore saying, "Great job, Kris."

No school sign yet

For the second time, board members didn't take action on whether to buy an electronic sign to erect in front of the new middle school.

A month ago, the board considered a bid of about $30,000 from Luminous Neon. This was the lowest of two bids submitted. Several board members said $30,000 was too much to spend for a sign.

Since then, Luminous Neon adjusted their specifications to arrive at a lower priced sign, about $20,000.

Dr. Richard Dean suggested the board check into other firms that might be able to provide a sign at a lower cost.

But board member Darlyn Hansen said it's important to get a good-quality sign.

"We want it to have a good solid electronic system," Hansen said. "There's junk out there and you'll end up paying through the nose eventually."

Board member Leana Leslie said she would like to go ahead and buy the sign, and member Ron Moore seemed to be in favor of purchasing it as well. However, member Diane Truesdell hesitated, noting the sign would be in a residential district with homes nearby. When board president Kay Smith asked if anyone wanted to make a motion, board members chatted among themselves, but nobody made a motion.

Crossing guard hired

Board members met for 30 minutes in executive session at Monday night's Tonganoxie school board meeting, citing personnel matters as the reason for the closed-door session.

After reconvening in open session, board members voted to hire Cecil Vinyard as crossing guard who will direct traffic at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Second Street before and after school. This is an area where school buses have had difficulty making left-hand turns onto the highway when going from the grade school to the new middle school. Vinyard is a reserve Tonganoxie police officer.

Also at Monday's meeting:

  • Board members appointed David Jones to serve on the Tonganoxie recreation commission's board of directors. Jones replaces Kay Soetaert, who resigned.
  • Board members scheduled two special meetings. The special meetings, at which Erickson said board members could discuss personnel matters and any other business that comes up, are set for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 and Feb. 7.

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