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Architect recommends comprehensive master plan
Oldest buildings pose concerns
Great Bend USD 428 buses are parked outside the Transportation & Maintenance Building at 2019 12th St. A better option might be a new building on land next to the District Education Center. That is just one option being considered as the school board works on a Master Plan for facilities.

After a year of work that began with a Comprehensive Facilities Study, SJCF Architecture has recommended a comprehensive plan for Great Bend USD 428 facilities that lists more than $88 million in building additions and upgrades. The latest summary of possible phasing and costs divides the plan into two phases:

Phase One

• Eisenhower addition/renovation $6.02 million

• Jefferson addition/renovation $4.69 million

• Lincoln addition/renovation $3.57 million

• Park addition/renovation $3.70 million

• Riley addition/renovation $4.33 million

• Great Bend Middle School addition/renovation $13.44 million

• Great Bend High School addition/renovation $6.52 million

• Therapeutic Learning Center (Washington) $5.38 million

• District Office/Food Service $0

• Transportation $4.48 million

• Food Service $0

Total Phase 1 $52.13 million, or $47.65 million without Transportation

Phase Two

• Eisenhower $748,930

• Jefferson $510,640

• Lincoln $0

• Park $557,830

• Riley $0

• GBMS $6.25 million

• GBHS $21.47 million

• Therapeutic Learning Center $385,000

• District Office/Food Service $2.05 million

• Transportation $0

• Food Service $4.49 million

Total Phase 2, $36.67 million

Not the final step

These figures are the starting point. Now that school board members have a better idea of the scope of work suggested for each building, they will decide which options are most desired and which will be eliminated in a Facilities Master Plan.

At a work session with the board on Monday, Superintendent Khris Thexton and others already had some suggestions for items that could be removed from the master plan or upgrades that could be deferred to a Phase Three, as needed.

“We are currently in the process of determining the exact needs of our district and what we will need to do to best serve our students and community,” Thexton said Tuesday. “I was very pleased with the work session Monday evening and I feel as though the Board of Education and administration have had the opportunity to take the information given to us by the architect.” The next step in the process is to formulate a plan, Thexton said.

Challenges/goals for Washington, District Services

Information on the Comprehensive Facilities Study is posted on the District website at . While a top goal has been the addition of safe rooms and secure entrances at all schools, a safe drop-off and pick-up areas, two of the oldest buildings pose other concerns.

Washington Early Education Center is the oldest building in the district, and the architects report that portions of the building built in 1919 “have noticeable fatigue and are part the functional service life.” There is on air conditioning in the gym and other areas have window A/C units. Lighting is outdated, the intercom is not adequate and there is a lack of electrical outlets and circuits.

The Transportation and Maintenance Building is also one of the oldest buildings in the district. The roof leaks at that building and at the Central Kitchen.

The District Education Center also has windows and doors that leak. It could use more office space, larger rooms for school board meetings and training, more parking and a Central Receiving Area.

Larger public rest-rooms are needed at all district services buildings.