Initial projects of the school bond issue are coming to an end

Monday night’s District Construction Report from Superintendent John Black to the USD 402 Board of Education was possibly the shortest in several years.

“The updates are shorter now and as the initial projects come to an end the District, starting with the Construction Committee, has the unique opportunity of determining what to do with the remaining funds,” Black said.

The money remains because a portion of the bond projects were completed with FEMA funds which were not figured as an initial revenue source for the projects. Dr. Black advised the board members that USD 402 is now entering into the final phases of the project with approximately $1.5 million.

Black presented a “wish list” of construction and renovation projects and their estimated costs for consideration.

The list includes items such as: tiles in the restrooms at Ewalt, replacement of classroom doors at Robinson, cabinets in the 1975 addition at Robinson, a south retainer wall at Augusta Middle School, optic fiber to AMS and Robinson and playground improvements at Ewalt.

“We need to do these things now with Crossland and PBA at our service,” Black advised.

The board is expected to take action later on approving the projects.

Demolition of old Lincoln Elementary

The board passed 6-0 the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMAX) for construction of the Lincoln School Phase II project, which includes the demolition of the old structure and completion of the site work of the project, in the amount of $421,847.

In a separate bid approval, the board approved 6-0 the bid for the building demolition, dirtwork and site utilities involved with the Lincoln Phase II project. Crossland Construction will enter into a contractual agreement with Alan’s Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $139,001.

Board President Robert McCalla said, “This will be the last demo and they’ve all been done by Alan’s Excavating. They’re amazing.”

BOE member Andy Hall agreed, “Jake and his crew have been with us through it all. We want to share our deep appreciation for all his help and work on our projects.”

Kyler McCommas, Project Manager with Crossland advised the board that asbestos removal at the old Lincoln building would take place this week and demolition would start on the Sunday, Jan. 20th.

District happenings

Superintendent Black commended the Garfield Elementary staff for all of their work in getting settled in at their new building.

“For the past two years the Garfield staff took the process very seriously. The packing and unpacking sounds much easier than it was. They made a smooth transition.”

He reported on last week’s ribbon cutting celebration and Sunday’s Open House, which was well-attended by the entire community.

Black proceeded to thank the board for their vision in improving the community’s school facilities and helping to make it happen.

“When the concrete work is done at Lincoln, the Oversight Committee is finished with their meetings,” he said.

A recent sale of old furniture from both Garfield and Lincoln grossed around $400.

A temporary fence will be placed around the old Lincoln demo site.

The board did approve 6-0 a bid package on fencing to encapsulate the Lincoln parking area after the old building is razed and concrete work is finished.

The bid for the fencing project is in the amount of $22,400.

 School Board recognition

January is School Board Recognition Month and the Augusta School Board was formally recognized at Monday night’s meeting.

“Being a school board member is sometimes described as one of the ‘toughest volunteer jobs in America.’ Yet Kansas public school board members dedicate countless hours to attending meetings, school functions, and hours of preparation for the decisions they make,” Black continued, “It is an exciting, yet challenging time in public education. School board members in USD 402 Augusta develop policies and make tough decisions that help share the future of our education system... We are grateful to have this opportunity to formally say ‘thank you’ to these education advocates as they provide vision and leadership...USD 402 Augusta encourages the entire community to thank a school board member, not only this month, but throughout the entire year.”

The next regular Board of Education meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Administration Office.