The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on March 29, 1998 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, March 29, 1998
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Page 9
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THE SALINA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 A9. To Bond or SCHOOL CONSTiRUtllON PLANS NotToBond Salina School District officials have been discussing with the public options for a massive building construction plan. The district would continue to have two middle schools, two high schools and — if officials get the message they hope — eight elementary schools along with the one or two new buildings for the Salina Area Vocational-Technical School. Here is a synopsis of the plans and what estimated costs would be: The minimal plan At a cost of between $50 million to $55 million the district would be able to build a new middle school to replace Roosevelt-Lincoln Middle School, build an addition to South Middle School, move sixth-graders from the elementary schools to the middle schools, replace roofs on leaking buildings, air condition all schools and make window and lighting improvements at all schools. Handicapped and air ventilation improvements are required if the district makes any building improvements. The minimal plan would permit one new building for the vo-tech, possibly a new shop or new academic center building. The moderate plan Officials hope to ask voters for $88 million to $98.2 million. In addition to the minimal plan improvements, these funds would enable the district to close seven buildings, expand six others and build two new schools to convert the district's 13 elementary buildings into eight schools. The district would also be able to address priority renovation needs at the two high schools. The vo-tech would receive two new buildings, replacing about 50 percent of the campus at a cost of $5 million to $8 million. The complete plans With a cost ranging from $116.6 million to $136 million, the full plan would allow for complete renovation of the two high schools. It includes an alternative option of building a new high school instead of a new middle school with the possibility of a new vo-tech adjacent to the high school. Central High School would be renovated into a middle school. Who would pay? The district would use local property taxes and state aid to pay for the construction by issuing bonds for sale. Interest rates for bonds are low, about 5 percent. The state would provide about 25 percent of the cost, which has been accounted for in the property tax estimates. The increased property taxes, depending on which issue might.pass, would would range from: • $119 to $324 a year or $11 to $27 a month for the owner of a $100,000 home. • $90 to $243 a year or $8 to $20.25 a, month for the owner of a $75,000 home. • $60 to $162 a year or $5 to $14 a , month for the owner of a $50,000 home. The time line • Surveys of the public will occur this spring after a series of public meetings concludes. • A final plan will be revised, probably a hybrid of the three options, and presented to the school board for approval. • The proposal would be presented to the public this summer. • A fall election would Include the building project and a question about a quarter-cent sales tax the district wants to fund technology. The sales tax would be limited to six years and would raise $12 million. • The property taxes increase would occur in the year 2000. • : Construction would take two and a half to three years. • The total debt from the project would be paid off in about 20 years. Vo-tech / Buildings not suitable FROM PAGE A8 Superintendent Gary Norris hopes the community is willing to support improvements for the vo-tech, as it did a sales tax referendum that led to the creation of Kansas State University-Salina, a campus with several new buildings just a bit north of the vo- tech on Centennial Drive. "The vo-tech is often overlooked as a true source of economic development for our community," Norris said. "We hope people recognize the valuable role it plays by training workers with skills and providing customized training for local industry." Buildings that need replacing Depending on what plan the community might support, efforts would begin to replace buildings on the campus. It hasn't been decided whether the first building to be replaced would be the main academic building or a shop building that houses the refrigeration, machine shop and auto body programs. The latter building, directly behind the main academic building, "is the most inadequate on campus," Sweeney said. But the academic building has problems, too, and is considered the more visible and important for conveying the school's image. The shop building, built in 1952, needs a new roof, Sweeney said. The refrigeration program is cramped and has inadequate heating and lighting. A classroom is located on a second level, away from the shop area. Machine shop equipment is cramped and must be covered with plastic, because of roof leaks. Lathe machines for shaping metal can't be spaced properly apart, crowding students and presenting a safety problem. The building also houses the auto body program, which is crowded with cars because of the building's narrow configuration. Autos on which students work must be moved and rearranged whenever a student wants to put a vehicle on a lift or into a painting booth. The painting area has no ventilation, and booths are starting to rust. The building's overhead doors are small, adding to the problem of getting vehicles in and out of the building. Mechanics and academics The school's auto and diesel mechanics building, which formerly housed the air base's motor pool, also dates back to 1952. While providing ample space for equipment and bigger machinery, its high cejling is difficult to paint, and the support columns are maneuvering obstacles. Storage areas have been converted into classroom space but are considered small and inconvenient. Mechanics have no space to store tools. Extra beams were erected to support the ceiling after the old ones began to sag. In the school's main academic building, leaks are no longer a problem. A new slanting roof and new siding were put on the 1957 I structure a couple of years ago, and that has stopped leaks and drastically reduced the building's utility bills. "We've saved about 40 percent on the gas bill," Sweeney said. But the building's low ceilings prevent the possibility of a false ceiling to hide the wiring and cables for computers and the school's other technology equipment. Classrooms are packed tight with rows of computer terminals for business technology, word processing and electronics. Vo-tech officials said the horticulture classroom in the academic building should be closer to the greenhouse. The building's older, unused heating system remains despite a new system, because the old pipes have asbestos and are too expensive to remove. Several classrooms have been remodeled, creating a better atmosphere for students. But officials are reluctant to invest many more dollars. On the newer side The school's welding building, which also houses the lighting manufacturing program with equipment donated by Philips Lighting to train its employees, is the newest on campus. It was built in 1979. In contrast to the school's other buildings, it has good lighting, a lot of open space, adjacent classrooms and offices with windows looking into the shop area. "It's easy to paint and keep updated," Sweeney said. The problems with the older buildings on the campus aren't because of neglect. "Our people have done a remarkable job in maintaining our buildings," he said. "Repairs are made as needed, and updates are made in areas were it's feasible." The school has modern, state-of- the-art equipment made available through grants from public and private sources or donations from industries and companies wanting to hire the school's graduates. "We have wonderful equipment," Sweeney said. "But we don't have facilities that are conducive to vocational school programs." PERSEPOLIS HOUSE OF PERSIAN AND ORIENTAL RUGS We hand wash Oriental rugs We pay top dollar for your old rugs "Serving Ifynsasfor 24 Years" 129 S. 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Wayne's' ray Wi Indows Ofton *W1ndewi • Storm D Wayne Wetzel-Owner Doug Wetzel, Sales (785) 827-5600 Your Total News Source the Salina Journal '™ Spring Dinner Train | Schedule for 1998 • April 17 & 18 • April 24&25 1 & 2 8 & 9 • May • May Call Now... Limited Seating 785-263-1077 or Tbll Free 1-888-426-6687 Our Regular Excursion IVain Season Will Begin May 2, 1998 n mmm imiimi niiii iiiiimiiiiimiiii HEALTH LIFE NEWS "•* f-»illiiii« .fournnl The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Tax Payers The United States Supreme Court* recently ruled that Federal Credit Unions have exceeded their authority for membership by soliciting multiple groups with various occupations as members. Why should you care? Did You Know? • Americans pay over 40% of their income to state and federal taxes. • Credit unions operating in Kansas pay no State or Federal Income Tax. • As a taxpayer, your taxes subsidize this credit union corporate welfare. A government agency estimates this tax subsidy will grow to $5.8 billion over the next five years. • Credit unions are not subject to consumer protection laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Truth-in- Savings. If you think it is time Congress stops providing a tax subsidy to those credit unions which have become multi-million dollar profit centers in violation of their tax exempt status, please contact Congressman Jerry Moran to oppose H.R. 1151. The Honorable Jerry Moran 1217 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 785-628-6401 - Hays Office 202-225-5124 - Fax in Washington, DC * Only those credit unions operating illegally are affected by this Supreme Court Ruling. Current credit union members will not be required to divest of their credit union membership. A political advertisement paid for by the Community Bankers Association of Kansas, Linda Snyder, Treasurer. 785-825-«757 •J^^V I^^V m' Prices ONE WEEK! THROUGH APRIL 4rn STOREWIDE- UP TO 50% OFF! 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