USD 333 board discusses facilities issues

 Replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the Concordia Elementary School and the possible construction of a FEMA-approved storm shelter were discussed at the Unified School District 333 board of education meeting Monday night.
 Superintendent of schools Beverly Mortimer told the board that those two projects are top facilities priorities at this time. “We are still really in the beginning stages,” Mortimer said.
 A bond election in the fall could provide funding for the two projects. If proposed, and passed, the district could transfer the 1.97 mills being used to pay off the construction of the elementary school.
If a bond election is approved, 40 percent of the funding would come from the state.
“I don’t think we can do both things without a bond election,” Mortimer said.
Without a bond being passed, the district would have to cover the full cost of replacing the HVAC system.
 “Once that air conditioning quits, and it will, we will pay for 100 percent of that,” Mortimer said.
 Mortimer told the board members that the air conditioning at the school had quit recently, but had been repaired.
During the summer, the district runs the air conditioning, fans and dehumidifiers to keep mold from returning.
 The construction of a FEMA-approved storm shelter at the elementary school was discussed during a community meeting with PBA Architects, Wichita,  last Thursday.
Mortimer said that PBA Architects could have a rough draft for the shelter with dimensions and a preliminary cost estimate for the board by the July meeting.
 Once the district receives the design it can do the initial application with FEMA.
The space created by the construction of the shelter could be used for additional classrooms.
 “First grade is what I would think we would like to do,” Mortimer said.
 During the audience with visitors portion of the meeting, Alan Maish raised some questions and concerns with the shelter proposal with the board.
 Maish told the board that he had attended the community meeting the previous week, and was disappointed because it was more of a sales pitch than an informational meeting, and there were no dimensions or height provided for the shelter.
 “I don’t know if we can tell you exact dimensions right now,” Mortimer said.
 Also during  the meeting, the board approved an agreement to allow Smoky Hill Service Center to service students in both a summer school program and a performance based diploma program.
 USD 333 closed its alternative school for budgetary reasons and a lack of attendees, but there is a need for some students to gain additional credits. Smoky HIll will provide those services.
 Students who want to make up credits missed throughout the school year over the summer will have the opportunity to do so through Smoky Hill and Concordia High School for a fee of $150 per course.
Smoky Hill will monitor and handle all procedures and logistics with the students and provide Concordia High School the information to be placed on transcripts if all course requirements are met.
 The board approved setting an auction date during the week of July 29 to sell the property that is now the nature trail.
Campbell & Johnson Engineers, P.A. provided the district with a legal description of the property that includes 6.69 acres.
Changes to the CHS Activity Fund account were approved by the board.
 The board set the date for July meeting for July 8 at 6 p.m. at the board office.
 One hiring and one resignation were approved by the board.
 Danele Wendland was hired as an interrelated teacher for the Learning Cooperative of North Central Kansas.
 The board accepted the resignation of Anna Berger as an interrelated teacher at Unified School District 108 Washington County on the condition they can find a suitable replacement.
 Mortimer informed the board that 14 Concordia High School students had received industry recognized certification in the two career/technical education programs, the nurse aide program and welding.
 The district will receive $14,000 from the state for the certifications. Some of that will be used to help pay for testing.
 Only 14 schools in the state had more students receive certifications.
  Mortimer also told the board that she has concerns over the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds for sidewalks on Broadway.


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