Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kobza defines key bond issue decisions

October 19, 2006

As the citizens advisory committee toured Eudora USD 491 properties last week, Superintendent Marty Kobza related what he saw as the two important decisions facing the school board as it crafted a bond issue to be put before voters in about a year.

Foremost among the issues before the board were what grade configurations the district should adopt for post-bond attendance centers and what properties, if any, the district should sell.

Kobza framed the issue for the advisory committee, which he asked to consider the options and make recommendations to the school board. But it is an advantage of the advisory committee process that the community at large can consider the two questions as well.

The question of grade configurations is likely to concern mostly those with students in the elementary grades. The question of selling district property will probably attract much more interest.

Sites Kobza suggested might be moved should their market value exceed their replacement costs include Nottingham Elementary School, the adjacent Laws Field, and the Eudora Community Learning Center and other facilities of the former middle school. From past discussions, it could also include the bus barn and Kerr Field behind it.

What makes the properties so unique is that they all occupy space on high traffic intersections or city streets.

That properties as ideally located as Nottingham and Laws Field are valued by the square foot makes them valuable assets to the district. If sold, they could go a long way in providing for the district's future land or building needs. But their attractive locations will also make them the subject of competing interests and visions within the community. A change of status on any of the properties would have considerable consequences to the city, not the least of which could be the final price tag of the next bond issue.

The open community advisory committee process invites the community to become involved in those decisions.

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