Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

USD 491 retaining placenames

September 20, 2007

Former district notables Don Laws, D.E. Kerr, and Roberta Nottingham will not be forgotten ---- at least as far as Eudora USD 491 is concerned.

The school board unanimously agreed Thursday to attach the Nottingham, Laws and Kerr names to new district facilities should a $45 million bond referendum pass Nov. 6.

"These people meant something significant to the people that are obviously involved, and we have to respect that," Eudora Superintendent Marty Kobza said.

Nottingham served several decades as an elementary level teacher and eventually had the district's primary grade building named after her. Laws was a former head football coach at Eudora High School and a social studies and government teacher in the district. Kerr served as principal of Eudora Rural High School and as a mayor of Eudora.

Exactly how the names will be attached to the buildings has yet to be decided.

Possible options include a center within a proposed elementary site near the intersection of 10th and Peach streets called Nottingham Primary Center.

As for the stadium, which would be located on the same campus as the high school and Eudora Middle School, Kobza envisioned the name of Eudora District Stadium, with Laws-Kerr Field or Kerr-Laws Field.

The district could put a memorial placard somewhere to capture the names, Kobza said.

"You can do something really nice there," he said.

Board member Belinda Rehmer said attaching the names to new buildings would just bring up questions within the community.

"We're not talking about getting rid of Laws Field, and we're not talking about getting rid of Kerr Field," Rehmer said. "We're talking about naming the new field Laws-Kerr."

The board wanted to be certain all three names were attached to facilities that would still be in use, Kobza said.

Should the bond pass, the district would no longer use Nottingham Elementary School as an attendance center and major sporting events would be contested at the new stadium.

"The idea was that it would carry the prestige because it was being used by the school for these kind of activities," Kobza said.

The district is committed to keeping Laws Field and has no plans to change the use of Kerr Field in the foreseeable future, Kobza said.

"We've been up front through this whole process that we're not going to get rid of anything, so I don't see that as being an issue," Board member Kenny Massey said.

Especially with the naming process, the board should expect to answer questions concerning the future of the properties, Kobza said

"I just don't want to come across as feeding the conspiracy theorists," Rehmer said.

"If there were a conspiracy we wouldn't be talking about it right now," Massey said immediately after.

For more information about the bond referendum, visit

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