Community Study of Elementary Facilities
In May of 2010, the Lawrence Board of Education voted to create the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force, and directed it to “...recommend a community vision and plan for the school district’s elementary facilities..." In February of 2011, the school board accepted the
Task Force's report, which contained three specific recommendations for creating a vision for elementary facilities, as well as a number of goals and criteria to be considered in formulating this vision.
1. A bond issue to meet facility needs should be put forward for community approval,
2. A working group should be formed to plan the consolidation of six central and east Lawrence elementary schools into three or four schools, and
3. Wakarusa Valley school should be closed at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
Following up on the Task Force recommendations, the board voted on March 28, 2011, to close Wakarusa Valley school and approved on April 21, 2011, a Vision Statement for Elementary School Facilities and Guidelines for the Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group:
Thanking community members and teachers for their willingness to serve, Superintendent Rick Doll announced on June 8, 2011, his appointments to the Consolidation Working Group. The advisory group met for an organizational meeting in June of 2011. Regular meetings were held from September of 2011 to February of 2012. Those meeting agendas, minutes and the group's recommendations are as follows:
- September 7, 2011, Agenda / Minutes
- September 19, 2011, Agenda / Minutes
- October 3, 2011, Agenda / Minutes
- October 17, 2011, Agenda / Agenda Materials / Minutes
- November 7, 2011, Agenda / Agenda Materials / Minutes / Maps
- November 21. 2011, Agenda / Minutes and Addenda
- Proposals Submitted for Discussion on December 5, 2011 / Revised Proposal from Pinckney / Site Plans Submission
- December 5, 2011, Agenda / Minutes / Addenda / Early Childhood Report / Preliminary Enrollment Projections
- Proposals Submitted for Discussion on December 19, 2011: Cordley, New York. / December 19, 2011, Agenda / Agenda Materials: KASB Letter
- December 19, 2011, Minutes / Addendum 1: New York Proposal, Addendum 2: New York Proposal, Addendum 3: Cordley PowerPoint Presentation, Addendum 4: Cordley Proposal, Addendum 5: Cordley Proposal, Addendum 6: 9-20-11 Enrollment Report, Addendum 7: 11-30-11 Enrollment Report
- January 2, 2012, Agenda / January 2, 2012, Revised Agenda and Addendum / Cordley School Enrollment/Capacity
Chart / Hillcrest Proposal Update / Pinckney Revised Scenario / Pinckney Information Sheet / January 2, 2012, Revised Minutes & Addenda
- January 16, 2012, Agenda / Minutes
- January 30, 2012, Agenda / Updated Consolidation Working Group Membership List / Spanish Language Information / Minutes / Addendum: RSP PowerPoint Presentation / RSP Projections, Proposal 1A: Kennedy/New York Consolidation / Proposal 1A Legend / RSP Projections, Proposal 1B: Kennedy/New York Consolidation / Proposal 1B Legend / RSP Projections, Proposal 2: Hillcrest/Sunset Hill Consolidation / Proposal 2 Legend
- February 6, 2012, Agenda / Minutes / USD 497 Elementary School Site Capacity Presentation by Gould Evans Associates
- February 13, 2012, Agenda / Minutes / RSP PowerPoint Presentation / RSP Projections, Proposal 1A Modified: New York and Kennedy Consolidation/New Facility / RSP Projections, Proposal 1B Modified: New York Closure / RSP Projections, Proposal 2 Modified: Hillcrest Closure, Kennedy and New York Consolidation/New Facility / RSP Projections, Proposal 3: Pinckney Closure
- February 20, 2012, Agenda / Kennedy/Pinckney/Sunset Hill Draft Document / Cordley/Hillcrest/New York Draft Document / Minutes
- Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group Cover Letter to the Board of Education
- "Uniting Lawrence in Support of Our Elementary Schools" - Cordley/Hillcrest/New York Final Recommendation
- "A Vision for the Future" - Kennedy/Pinckney/Sunset Hill Final Recommendation
Upon receipt of the recommendations of the Consolidation Working Group, the school board voted on April 9, 2012, to continue operating 14 elementary schools. As part of the board's goals, a school bond issue will be developed and offered to the community in the spring of 2012 in order to fund necessary repairs to the elementary schools. The board has indicated an interest in inlcuding technology and career and technical education needs in the bond issue, as well as renovations to better accommodate the 2011 addition of ninth-graders to both high schools.
On August 13, 2012, the board approved the selection of Gould Evans Architects to lead the district through the pre-bond planning process for the upcoming bond election.