Light Rain


Board to set aside funds for Bergman’s roof

Capital outlay plans for next year also include $40,000 for football field turf

By Bryan Richardson

The USD 383 school board took a look at capital outlay plans for the 2013-14 school year Wednesday.

District officials said components may yet be added to that plan, so it’s too early to determine what the capital outlay mill levy will be. But some significant aspects of the plan are known, among them a multi-year effort to replace Bergman Elementary’s roof in 2015. The plan is to set aside $750,000 during the 2013-14 school year with additional funds to be saved during the 2014-15 school year.

Board president Dave Colburn said the roof repair involves a lot of money, but at least doesn’t involve borrowing. “It ends up being cheaper for the taxpayer as painful as it is to look at setting a mill-and-a-half just for half a roof essentially,” he said.

The capital outlay plan also includes $40,000 for the Bishop Stadium turf project, which the board approved Wednesday.

The turf will be put in place for next school year. The site work, being done by Double E Construction of Gas, is to begin in the latter part of May and be finished in mid-July. The turf itself will be put down in August.

The surface will be the same used on the football and baseball fields at Kansas State University.

The project will be initially funded through a five-year $750,000 lease-purchase agreement with Commerce Bank. The district’s semi-annual payments will total $804,235.30 after interest.

The district is contributing $200,000 over five years, or $40,000 a year. The Manhattan High School Booster Club found donors to help fund the remaining cost including four major donors, each of which will get a logo for their donations.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital — $200,000 over five years — and Dick Edwards Automotive —$250,000 over 10 years – will have logos on the field. Steel and Pipe Supply — $100,000 over five years — and Tindall Orthodontics — $50,000 over seven years — will have logos on the south apron.

School calendar

Board members also Tuesday reviewed a calendar calling for the 2013-14 school year to start Aug. 14 and end May 22. Four days will be added to the calendar after the board voted to shorten the school year in 2010 to cut costs and maximize the time for construction and renovation during the bond issue projects.

The middle schools and MHS will see their school day reduced by 10 minutes, but elementary schools will need to retain the additional 10 minutes per day.

The board accepted adding four days to the calendar in order to help facilitate changes in collaboration and professional development for elementary school teachers.

The board gave final approval to the two-year process of increasing elementary teachers’ professional development, collaboration and planning time by a 6-1 vote Wednesday.

Board member Walt Pesaresi reiterated his view that the changes should all take place next year, and the board should come up with the money to do it.

“We can do it for other buildings in the district,” he said. “I don’t understand why we can’t do it for the elementary schools. I honestly don’t.”

Next year, elementary teachers will have eight days of professional development, eight early releases for collaboration and 330 minutes of planning time per week. The 2014-15 school year would have 60 minutes of collaboration time per week for elementary teachers in addition to the previous changes.

Currently, there are five early release days, three professional development days and 300 planning minutes per week.

The estimated cost of that change is $128,800. The plan that Pesaresi wants to put into effect immediately would cost $450,000.

Both this and the calendar will have to be worked out during the upcoming negotiations between the teachers and district administration and the board.

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