USD 421 board considers potential updates

LYNDON – The USD 420 facility committee gave the USD 420 Board of Education board an update at the Dec. 14 regular meeting. The committee was organized in September to determine possible energy upgrades to the district buildings.

“These are just conversations,” said Cheryl Cook, superintendent. “We talked about the areas that are a need, which would be the AC and HVAC. We know that we want to replace the windows. They wanted to go ahead with the insulation, which is needed.”

“We talked about some other possible incentives for patron buy-in to kind of help us with this project,” Cook said. “The recreation commission is looking into the weight room and opening that up as a community fitness center.”

The committee recommended expanding the weight room in order to accommodate cardiovascular equipment without having to lose the free weights. There are plans for Michael Massey, recreation director, and Brad Marcotte, Lyndon High School principal, to tour some schools that have fitness centers in their buildings.

The committee also would like to see a third gym open up. The third gym would not include bleachers so it could be used as a practice gym and a multi-purpose room.

“As we have known for years, there has been a push from patrons to get Career and Technical Education type courses back,” Marcotte said. “Mr. Beying (Lyndon High School faculty member) has agriculture endorsements. We could offer those types of things to our kids.”

“The other thing was adding air conditioning to the gym,” Cook said. “I think we need to consider putting heat in the commons area.”

“Sometimes our kids have blankets,” Marcotte added.

“The committee came up with a ballpark figure of between $5 million to $6 million bond,” Cook said. “The committee would like feedback from the board.”

“Without adding space, we are probably looking at $3.5 million to get the climate control issues back up to snuff,” Eric Ratzloff, board member, said.

“The scary part is we are under $700,000 in capital outlay,” Marcotte said. “The mill levy generates $20,000. We can’t keep up.”

During the board’s discussion of the matter, Lisa Baker, board member, recommended that they conduct informational meetings for the public to attend. This would provide an opportunity for the committee and the board to get the public’s feedback and opinions.

It was decided that the committee would meet again after Christmas to start working on putting together informational forums for the public.

In other business, the board:

• heard from district principals about student honors.

“There was a late award that was just announced over the weekend,” Marcotte said. “Kyle Baker and Tristan Pringle were voted first team offense for the state by the Kansas Football Coaches Association.”

“We have Mac (McCullough) Unruh and Leanne Shoup qualified for state choir,” said Jennifer Hamlet, Lyndon Elementary and Lyndon Middle School principal. “They will be representing Lyndon for the state elementary choir across Kansas and go to Wichita in February.”

• received an update from Cook for the insurance committee’s progress.

• approved the updates to the mission, vision and district goals.

• clarified the next professional development day will be Jan. 17.

• held a 1 hour and 50 minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken following the session.

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The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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