With the construction of the new middle school came a question about school colors for the school.

With the construction of the new middle school came a question about school colors for the school.

USD 490 staff put out a survey to patrons to get their thoughts on if the middle school colors should be changed to match those of the high school, red and black.

There were 529 respondents to the week-long survey, with 62.7 percent in favor of changing the middle school’s colors from gold and black to red and black.

“The high school students were the only category that was negative that the nos outweighed the yeses,” said Heath Elliott, EMS assistant principal and athletic director. “In all other categories combined 71.5 percent said yes.”

After the survey, administration met with the Extra Curricular Review Committee to get their recommendation.

They agreed the colors should be the same.

There were several benefits associated with this decision.

One was it was more cost effective for parents so they wouldn’t have to buy two sets of outfits for middle school and high school students.

It also would be more cost effective for the district and would provide for more community pride, unifying the seventh through 12th grade athletics.

Some of the challenges voiced with the responses to the survey included: “this is the way it’s always been,” the up front cost to change uniforms and the high school wanting to have their own identity.

In addition, the EMS and EHS administration are in support of aligning the school colors.

The Board of Education approved the change Monday evening and now they will begin to make the transition. Middle School uniforms will be changed for the new colors as they come up in rotation for replacement, as long as the league says it is OK to phase in the new colors. Uniforms are on a five-year cycle, with a couple of rotations up now.

In other business Monday, the board:

• heard a report on the Kansas Association of School Boards convention from Board Members Leon Leachman and Bernie Spradling. Most of the things they heard talked about involved the new core curriculum. There also was talk about the new efficiency requirements at which the state is looking. Leachman said some of the people on that committee were amazed at the efficiency things already being done.

• heard about the upcoming election. There are three board seats up for re-election, including those filled by Spradling, Leachman and Vicki Coash. If there are more than nine who file for those three positions a primary will be held on Feb. 26, otherwise they will all be on the ballot in April.

• heard a report on the district financial audit. Norm Wilks, director of fiscal services, said they will always have deficiencies. One reason for that is they don’t have enough staff to segregate the duties enough. Overall, he said all of the issues have been taken care of or will never be taken care of because they don’t have enough personnel.

• approved the final change order for Skelly Elementary. They are able to reduce the contract price by $146,859. Because that was part of the bond issue, that money has to stay within those projects, so it will be moved to the middle school project.