It is official — Concordia Middle School will be closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Following a public hearing, the Unified School District 333 board of education unanimously approved a Resolution No. 12-9 to close the school during its November meeting Monday night.
The board approved closing the middle school and moving the fifth and sixth grade students into the junior-senior high school building next school year.
Kansas statutes require that the board of education conduct a public hearing prior to the adoption of a resolution closing any school building.
There was no one present at the board meeting to speak to the board about the closing of the building.
“I think that it was covered quite well in the public why we are closing that building. It is a cost cutting measure,” board president Rick Limon said.
In an effort to save the district money, closing the middle school was proposed to the board as part of a three phase plan presented by Jerry McCall, Educational Consulting Services, Lincoln, Neb.
Three public meetings were held to discuss closing the building.
In an item related to the closing of the school, the board approved a revision to the negotiated agreement with the teachers.
Under the negotiated agreement, teachers are paid $1,000 when they change classrooms.
Because so many teachers will be changing classrooms when the middle school is closed, it was agreed upon that instead of being paid $1,000, the teachers will receive three days of time off, two inservice days and the Friday before Christmas, and that district staff be used to help make the move.
The agreement will only be in effect this year, and it will go back to the way it was next year.
A motion to sell the nature trail by auction by March, 2013 was approved by the board.
The nature trail is on 6.66 acres of land adjacent to the practice football field on 18th Street.
Superintendent of schools Beverly Mortimer proposed taking sealed bids for the sale of the land.
“Just knowing that we have some expenses coming up I am recommending that now is the time to let this thing go,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer told the board that she has been contacted by parties interested in purchasing the land.
Board member Pat Murk asked Mortimer if that is a reason for selling the land by sealed bid rather than go through a realtor.
Mortimer said that the district has had good success with sealed bids, and a realtor would have to be paid and the district would have to set a price for the land.
Board member Chuck Knapp asked if it would be worth considering an auction.
Knapp said that a minimum price could be set for an auction, and that if that price was not reached then the district could go to sealed bids.
It was decided by the board to sell the land at auction by March of next year.
Mortimer reported to the board that she is one of two school superintendents who were asked to present testimony to Gov. Sam Brownback’s school efficiency task force. She presented board members with a copy of the testimony she had presented to the task force on Nov. 8.
“They asked some really good questions,” Mortimer said.
Gary Sechrist, USD 405, is the other superintendent who spoke to the task force.