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USD 489 board OKs bid for HMS addition




The eight-classroom addition on the east side of Hays Middle School is one step closer to construction.

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The eight-classroom addition on the east side of Hays Middle School is one step closer to construction.

The Hays USD 489 Board of Education voted 6-1 Monday night to accept a base bid from Paul-Wertenberger Construction for $2,587,000.

Citing concerns about subcontractor listings in the bids, Greg Schwartz, board vice president, was the dissenting vote.

The addition will be paid for in part by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Built to FEMA specification, the classroom addition also would serve as a storm shelter. Cost of the project has been estimated at $2,779,464, with USD 489 paying $1,410,437.

"Paul-Wertenberger is a reliable, responsible industry professional that has built many buildings in our community and in western Kansas," board member Alan Moore said. "We have an obligation as a school board to get this structure built to FEMA specifications."

The board also accepted a bid of $51,500, from Riedel Garden Center to put Bermuda sod on the Hays High School practice field closest to the tennis courts.

Bid specifications include removing the current grass, leveling the area, installing sod and adjusting the sprinkler system to work with the new grass.

"It's going to be a good test for us in that we have a Bermuda field to work with now," Cain said, "but we'll still maintain that fescue field inside the track to make sure we have somewhere to go if it goes dormant."

The work is expected to be completed by June 26.

Board members entered into executive session with central office administrators and Bill Jeter, board attorney, for an hour to discuss contract negotiations and land acquisition. No action was taken on either item in open session.

In other business, the board an update from Patrick Lowry, facilities needs committee co-chairman. Lowry is editor and publisher of The Hays Daily News.

Three school board members -- Darren Schumacher, Greg Schwartz and James Leiker -- have stepped "off the committee to remove any perception of there being a conflict of interest."

They haven't removed themselves from process and continue to attend meetings, along with other board members. The committee also has had a presentation on special-education needs, met with an HTK representative who presented cost estimates on items identified by building stakeholders as top priorities and asked for further information on various configurations for elementary schools.

The board also approved a request from Mike Hester, Hays High School principal, to withdraw his notice of retirement and resubmitting his resignation. Hester is taking an administrative posiiton in Topeka and will be replaced by current assistant principal Marty Straub at HHS.