It disappoints me that we have a room full of empty chairs for these items that are costing so much money. … It makes me very disappointed in this community.
By CRISTINA JANNEY
The Hays USD 489 school board received a report on district infrastructure needs at its meeting Monday night.
Board President Mandy Fox called the list of projects a “triage list” as the district tries to address many needs with limited funds.
“I really do think ‘triage’ is the appropriate word for this,” Fox said. “It disappoints me that we have a room full of empty chairs for these items that are costing so much money. While they are for the safety of the students and for a good environment for the students, they are not directly impacting their education.
“When people are quick to post on Hays Post and the Hays Daily News about how we are spending money, it really frustrates me because they are not here to hear everything we are listening to.”
She noted it is going to take more than eight years just to fix the Hays High parking lot.
“It makes me very disappointed in this community,” she added.
Rusty Lindsay, director of building and grounds, graded each district building in a report to the board.
Lincoln Elementary School and Rockwell received D’s. Wilson and O’Loughlin elementary schools received C’s. HHS, HMS and Roosevelt Elementary School received B’s.
Lindsay noted the district is trying to concentrate its efforts on HHS, HMS and Roosevelt, as those three buildings have all been identified as buildings the district would keep if a bond issue is passed. Other buildings are being approached as repair only, Lindsay said.
In his diagram, he listed multiple projects in these buildings as bond projects. He said he cost of the work is enough that it can’t be paid for through capital outlay funds.
The district receives about $2 million annually from its capital outlay mill levy. As of the end of the FY19, the district anticipates it will have about $4.7 million in the fund, which includes a $2.7 million carry over from the previous year.
He also noted several projects as critical needs. These projects included a special systems project at the high school, which was approved Monday night; Roosevelt roof repair, which has already been approved by the board; and tuck point and caulking at Westside.
The special systems project at the high school includes fixing the clock and intercom system. The clock system is connected to lights and HVAC. A failure in the clock system earlier this year caused the HVAC system to fail.
The special systems project will also include pulling cable for a new phone system and security cameras. The phone system is set to be in next fiscal year’s budget. The new cameras would be budgeted at a later date as funds become available.
Twenty-one projects listed infrastructure that is in poor shape and an additional 51 infrastructure areas were ranked in fair shape, but had potential for failure. Lindsay hopes to fix about 10 of the critical to fair projects by the end of this summer and additional six in the next school year. However, that still leaves 59 projects or 79 percent unfinished.
Several board members thanked Lindsay for his report and added they wished to have a similar report on an annual basis. Fox added she would like to have a copy of the report at her chair at each board meeting so she could regularly refer back to it.
“What you did with chart A2 works really well with my mind,” board member Sophia Rose Young said, “so I want to thank you for laying it out like that with the colors and breaking it down and putting it in the order you did. … A tool like this is very beneficial to us as board members. This is something I feel I have been missing.”
The school board heard two additional reports on infrastructure bids at Monday’s meeting, but is not set to vote on them until its meeting on May 20.
The district has received at $57,000 matching grant to replace interior door locks at HHS, HMS and Roosevelt. The new lock system will also be a part of the renovation project at the Oak Park Complex.
Lindsay said the current lock system is no longer secure, because the keys can be easily duplicated.
The district recently changed the locks on all the exterior doors to schools so they are only accessible by key cards. If a key card is lost or stolen or an individual leaves the district, the key card can be easily deactivated, Lindsay said.
The new system will have several levels of access. Lindsay used the example of science classrooms. Science teachers would have a key that accessed all the science rooms and supply cabinets.
Custodians would have master keys that unlocked room doors, but not supply cabinets.
Administrators would have grand master keys that accessed all classrooms and all supply cabinets and closets.
The lock replacement is a matter of security and that is why Lindsay said he has placed it high on the capital needs list.
The locks are made with replaceable cores, so if a key is lost, the cores can be replaced instead of the entire lock, Lindsay said.
If teachers move classrooms, as often happens at the elementary levels, the cores can be moved instead of reissuing keys.
Lindsay said he hoped to complete the locks at the other elementary schools in the next year or two. He noted that if the district would vacate one of these schools because of a bond being passed, the locks could be reused in a new building.
The district’s match for the project will be $53,000.
Brian’s Concrete of Hays submitted a $96,000 bid for concrete replacement at Hays High School. Lindsay budgets money every year out of capital outlay to replace a portion of the parking at HHS. The parking project is about 40 percent complete and won’t be fully complete until 2028.
At that point, the the capital outlay schedule has work starting on the HMS parking lot with completion in 2034.
Board member Luke Oborny noted there is a night-and-day difference between the areas of the parking lot that have been replaced and those that have not.
In other business, the board:
- Approved board policy revisions.
- Heard a report on administrative and classified handbook revisions
- Heard a curriculum update
- Heard a report on a membership renewal to the Kansas Association of School Boards
- Heard a special education update
- Reviewed the 2019-20 school board meeting calendar