Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2005

DHS kitchen remodeling moving ahead

February 10, 2005

De Soto USD 232 has moved its De Soto High School kitchen addition up from the back burner.

Board of Education members on Monday approved a bid for the smaller-scale bond project, scheduled to begin immediately and be completed by mid-July. The kitchen expansion will be completed simultaneously with an entryway remodeling job at Monticello Trails Middle School.

The two projects remained on the bond schedule after it was reconfigured in September. At that time, the Board trimmed its project list to account for larger-than-foreseen costs, brought to light when preliminary plans for the future Mize Middle School came in $6 million over budget.

Along with one of three planned elementary schools, a technology center at the district administrative offices was dropped from the project list.

Facilities director Denis Johnson said Andersen-Combes Construction Company LLC agreed to complete both the DHS and Monticello Trails projects for a total of $860,000.

Bid separately, the construction would have cost a total of $7,000 more than that, with a bid of $488,000 for Monticello Trails and $379,000 for the kitchen.

Johnson said Andersen-Combes, of Olathe, was the same company that constructed the new district transportation center in Shawnee and that he was pleased with their work.

De Soto's kitchen expansion will enable it to be a full-preparation facility, Johnson said. Currently a large amount of food must be prepared at Lexington Trails Middle School and transported to the high school to be served. The addition will increase the kitchen's size by about 30 percent.

At Monticello Trails, the front entry area will be renovated so that during the school day all visitors must enter through the office. More doors will be unlocked for students to pass through before and after school.

A similar traffic flow, designed to allow office personnel to monitor visitors for student safety, already exists at Starside and Mize elementary schools.

Following the remodeling approval, Hollis and Miller architects presented updated designs for the Mize Middle School project, expected to open by fall of 2007. Along with Johnson, architects were scheduled to present designs to the City of Lenexa Tuesday morning.

Kirk Horner said the school should be ready to bid by early April, if the Board wanted to move forward that early.

In order to beat rising inflation and construction costs, Johnson said that's what he would recommend.

"Inflation's just going to go up," he said.

Johnson said at the rate the district was growing the bond issue's second elementary school would likely be needed by 2007 as well. He expected to begin planning for that as soon as Mize Middle School was bid.

A $700,000 administrative center technology addition, originally pitched to voters as a shop class for the 21st century, is no longer a part of the bond schedule.

Although attached to the administrative offices in De Soto, the technology center was to have been a hands-on area where students would learn about information technology networks. It also would have been used for staff training.

The administrative offices still could be expanded sometime in the future, Johnson said. However, when push came to shove for this bond budget, staff decided the same learning could take place more effectively and for less cost at individual buildings, possibly in a vo-tech environment.

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