USD 257 buildings get a “B”



March 25, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Iolans gave school district facilities a B in a local survey.
Four hundred community members participated in a telephone survey conducted by Patron Insight. Overall, the district received a 3.76, which is about a B average.
USD 257 board of education members hired Patron Insight last month to conduct the survey to get a better understanding of what community members thought of the district’s performance and facilities.
The question that generated the most positive result was the safety of students in the district, garnering a 4.32, an A. Performance of school principals, teachers, board of education and superintendent all received high A marks.
When asked to rank the quality of school facilities, 42 percent of patrons said they would give the facilities a B. Those who answered the question with a C, D or F rating were asked what it was about the school facility that falls short of expectations. One hundred and twenty-nine patrons said the facilities are old and rundown, 21 said the wiring is outdated, 15 said the air conditioning and heating needs to be updated and 13 had other reasons.
The board has continually discussed whether they should apply for a bond issue to construct a new facility or facilities or remodel the existing structures. Some patrons seemed hesitant in building an all new campus but seemed open to a “one elementary school” concept. Some board members would like to possibly see two facilities, an elementary school and a high school.
“People need to realize that the state would help pay for the other building,” Buck Quincy said. “It’s like you buy one get one free.”
Hollis and Miller Architects presented board members 18 different construction scenarios to see the potential future of the district facilities. Some options had only renovations, some had new construction of certain buildings and others had an all-new campus. Hollis and Miller factored in demolition costs of existing schools and the purchase of new land if needed.
The school board will have a special meeting at 6 p.m., Thursday, at the school board office to continue its plans on the district’s facilities.

In other news:
— Since high school students were let out early to attend the state basketball tournament there will be five minutes added to each school day starting April 28.
— The board accepted the resignation of Dwight Grogan as custodian and the hiring of Michael Decker as custodian. It also accepted the resignation of Bridgette Hammond as a paraprofessional.
— The Iola High School band was approved to take a trip to the 2014 Alamo Bowl.

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