Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Projection results could shape bond issue

March 30, 2006

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education decided accurate information will be key to managing the district's growth in the next half decade.

By using the services of a second-party projection company, RSP Associates, LLC the district could get a clearer picture of what needs to be on a 2008 bond issue.

The realization came Saturday at a special meeting of the Board when Superintendent Marty Kobza told board members they needed to decide how to best attack the pre-planning stages of the bond issue.

"We talked about construction methodology and a lot of other things and kicked around ideas. We put this in a timeline and decided we'd go from there," Kobza said.

Last September, board members heard a presentation on the various bond management options available to them and in January, Kobza presented the revamped timeline.

"We're at that point where we need to start developing options," Kobza said.

In order to find the best fit for the district, Kobza talked to various professionals and found the project in need of some things.

"We need two things: we need good hard data, accurate information, and then we need someone to put a facility piece together for us and what that looks like in general terms," Kobza said.

The bond would construct a new elementary school and add on substantial improvements to existing district properties.

The district might have found a solution to one of its pre-planning needs in a presentation the board heard moments earlier from Rob Schwarz of RSP.

RSP would give the district hard

numbers as far as enrollment projections and has worked with other districts in the state with facility planning.

But the district would still need someone to help with the project's final visualizations.

"We've talked about whether it's construction management or program management," Kobza said. "As you think about that, you can't make those decisions until you know what you're going to do. In other words, what you are going to build will dictate what kind of methodology you will use," Kobza said.

Although the district could use an architect for the visual aspects of the bond campaign, findings from the potential RSP study could completely change how the district looks at growth ---- including how it wants to use land where Nottingham Elementary School and Laws Field are located.

At the meeting, board members favored the idea of waiting to see what information comes from RSP.

"I don't think we can make any decisions until we get this," Board President Greg Neis said.

If the board approves the contract for RSP in April, it could start seeing results as soon as June.

"I think we need the full data before we start reassessing what we've talked about before," board member Brenda Clark said.

RSP could find information specific to the board's plans for the elementary schools, Clark said.

"They can tell us what could happen, and we can't do that one," Clark said.

Board member Ken Massey agreed the board should wait for potential results from RSP.

"There's just a lot of factors to look at and I want to go back to ground zero, I guess, and start over," Massey said.

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