Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2000

Principals say schools in ‘crisis situation’

School board members agree with study

December 28, 2000

A preliminary report to the Eudora school district citing the need for improvements at EMS and Eudora High has the schools' principals' full support.

Eudora High (EHS) principal Marty Kobza said he agreed with the study's results, which suggested EHS build four new classrooms to accommodate the growth. Though the additions would help provide for projected growth in two years, he said the classrooms would be utilized much sooner.

"The need isn't down the road the need is now," Kobza said. "It's not a situation where we're planning for the future. We're dealing with a crisis situation."

Kobza said two rooms are being used for two separate courses. World history is taught in the computer room and math is being taught in the choir room.

"We're trying to work around things that aren't educationally sound," Kobza said. "It's just not a good situation when you do that."

Jim French, a representative from the architectural firm DLR Group of Overland Park, came before the school board this month to share a feasibility study's preliminary findings. It could cost up to $7 million dollars for a remodel of EMS. Four new rooms at EHS could come with a similar price tag, French said.

EMS principal Dale Sample said he fully agreed with the study's findings. The school's electrical and plumbing systems are in dire need of upgrades and repair. However, Sample said he is unsure if repair is the best path for the future of the school.

"I don't know how much money you want to put into an old building like that," Sample said. "It doesn't look like we're going to gain any room."

School board member Greg Neis agreed.

"My personal opinion with the middle school is, it's still a fairly good building but it's an old building," Neis said. "My argument has always been why spend a whole bunch of money to bring it up to standards if you spend all of that and you've not gained one foot of classroom space?

"That building's got a lot of uses, but not in the instructional base anymore."

Neis said he agreed with the study. EHS' need to expand classroom space should be a priority, he said. Board member Carlie Abel agreed with the expansion, but said he believes the board should look to improve several areas, rather than focusing on one school's needs.

"Right now, I think we need to add onto the high school," Abel said. "Then, do the right thing and rebuild the infrastructure for the middle school; in increments if you have to."

He said the board should consider a possible $8 million bond to use for both the school's improvements and capital outlay money.

"To me, it's one of the deals where we're about maxed out on the debt we can heap up on the public," Abel said. "If that doesn't fly, you know darn well a $15 million school won't."

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