Lawrence Public Schools

USD 497

Lawrence Voters Invest in Secondary School Improvements

Conceptual Design of Lawrence High School Construction and Renovation Project  
May 2, 2017, Update
The Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election passed by a margin of 74.5% on a vote of 14,300 to 4,898. Voter turnout was 35%. Superintendent Kyle Hayden thanks the community for putting students first!

This page includes background information about the bond issue goals, scope and budget. 
Supporting Student-Centered Learning

May 2, 2017, Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election
The Goal: Create school environments that support personalized learning, student engagement and success. 
Facilities Master Plan 
With elementary schools transformed into 21st-century learning environments thanks to the community’s support of its 2013 school bond election, the Lawrence Board of Education turned its attention to a facilities master planning process to address the needs of the middle and high schools, especially Lawrence High School. The board contracted Gould Evans Associates, which met with a Facilities Planning Committee, Lawrence High Steering Committee, and middle and high school administrators and staff, conducted focus groups and student surveys, visited districts with new high school facilities of similar size, and worked with engineering and construction firms on a comprehensive analysis of programmatic and building system needs. 
cover of facilities master plan
Public Survey
The district contracted with Patron Insight to conduct a scientific telephone survey to gauge public support of the projects identified in the facilities master plan. Here is a report detailing the results of the survey of 400 heads of households who are registered voters in USD 497: Patron Insight Community Telephone Survey
Board Approves Bond Resolution
On January 9, the school board voted unanimously to authorize and call for an $87 million, mail-ballot election on May 2.
The board approved asking USD 497 voters to decide this ballot question: 
Shall Unified School District No. 497, Douglas County, Kansas, (Lawrence), issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $87,000,000 to pay the costs to: construct additions to and renovate, improve, repair, equip and furnish Lawrence High School, the other existing secondary schools including Lawrence Free State High School, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, South Middle School, Southwest Middle School, West Middle School, and the College and Career Center; to make technology improvements throughout the district; to undertake all other necessary improvements related thereto; and to pay fees and expenses related thereto; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 10-101 et seq., K.S.A 25-431 et seq., K.S.A. 25-2018(f), K.S.A. 72-6761 and K.S.A. 75-2315 et seq.?  
flyer with an overview of bond election information  
   Video Presentation: USD 497's May 2, 2017, School Bond Mail-Ballot Election (16 minutes)
The May 2, 2017, Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election: 

  • Creates flexible spaces to enhance students’ educational experiences through opportunities to collaborate, create and innovate.
  • Addresses equity across school facilities.
  • Improves safety and security. 
  • Accommodates student enrollment growth. 
  • Delivers energy-efficient, high-performance schools that promote student and staff wellness and success and generate cost savings. (Utility savings estimated at $100,000/year.)
schematic drawing of proposed improvements to LHS  
  • Provide a safe and secure campus
  • Create flexible student collaboration spaces 
  • Enlarge classrooms, corridors and kitchen 
  • Establish outdoor learning areas 
  • Modernize library media center
  • Renovate annex classrooms, auxiliary gym, natatorium, weight room, fine arts spaces, career and technical education areas, restrooms and locker rooms
  • Upgrade infrastructure and aging building systems
  • Make site improvements 
schematic drawing of proposed improvements to FSHS  

Free State High School (PDF)

  • Add classrooms and multi-purpose space to accommodate growth
  • Create flexible student collaboration spaces
  • Modernize library media center
  • Expand and improve parking and sidewalks
  • Upgrade infrastructure and aging building systems
  • Renovate restrooms and locker rooms 
 schematic drawing of proposed improvements to LMCMS  
schematic drawing of proposed improvements to SMS  
schematic drawing of proposed improvements to SWMS  
schematic drawing of proposed improvements to WMS  
All Middle Schools: LMCMS, SMS, SWMS, WMS (PDFs)
  • Create flexible student collaboration spaces
  • Modernize library media center
  • Upgrade infrastructure and aging building systems
  • Renovate restrooms and locker rooms 
Lawrence College and Career Center
  • Finish space to move culinary arts program from Holcom
  • Improve existing educational spaces
  • Prepare connection to future Boys and Girls Club Teen Center
Proposed Budget - $87 Million
Lawrence High - $50.8M
Free State High - $15.2M
West Middle School - $9.8M 
Liberty Memorial Central Middle School - $4.3M 
Southwest Middle School - $4.3M 
South Middle School - $1.8M
Lawrence College and Career Center - $600,000
Technology - Data and Information Management Systems - $200,000
2013 Bond Issue Construction Update
Deerfield's renovated library media center Schwegler's new courtyard Students use a flexible space for collaborative learning
Thanks to Lawrence voters’ approval of a $92.5 million school bond issue on April 2, 2013, the school district and its architectural, construction, and engineering partners have worked to improve facilities, enhance technology and expand career and technical educational opportunities for students. USD 497 has completed 20 of 21 projects, including the transformation of older central and east Lawrence elementary schools and construction of the Lawrence College and Career Center at 29th and Haskell Ave.
One project remains: Pinckney Elementary students and staff were relocated to East Heights for the 2016-17 school year, while their $6.8 million construction project takes place on their home campus. Scheduled to be complete by July of 2017, Pinckney’s improvements include new classrooms, kitchen and dining commons, a re-oriented entrance along Sixth Street with secure entry and office area, remodeling of existing classrooms and the library media center, and the addition of learning pockets. Pinckney will celebrate its 85th anniversary when the school reopens in August of 2017.  
(Pictured above: Deerfield's renovated library media center, Schwegler's renovated outdoor learning courtyard, and Cordley students using a new flexible learning space for collaboration.)

Architect Project Summaries Related to the 2013 Bond Issue:

  • Gould Evans Associates- Cordley, Hillcrest, Langston Hughes, New York, Sunset Hill, Woodlawn, and Pinckney.


  • BG Consultants -  Quail Run, Broken Arrow, Prairie Park, Sunflower and Liberty Memorial Central, South, Southwest, and West Middle Schools.


  • Sabatini - Kennedy, Schwegler, Deerfield, Lawrence College & Career Center and Free State and Lawrence High Schools

2013 Bond Issue Project Videos: