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Remodeled Ed Center would enlarge board room
new slt school office
The Great Bend USD 428 District Education Center at 201 S. Patton Road is pictured. This week, the school board heard an architects description of a proposed remodeling project. - photo by Tribune file photo

What is capital outlay?

Capital outlay is money spent to acquire, maintain, repair or upgrade capital assets. Capital assets, also known as fixed assets, may include machinery, land, facilities or other business necessities that are not expended during normal use.
Great Bend USD 428’s 2016 capital outlay tax rate was 6.528 mills. Other USD 428 tax rates were 20 mills for the general fund, 14.374 mills for the supplemental general fund and 5.044 mills for bonds and interest, for a total of 49.946 mills. The proposals outlined here do not require a tax increase.

Sources: and (departments/county clerk/tax levies)

Dozens of students and parents waited in the foyer of the Great Bend USD 428 District Education Center on Monday before joining the school board meeting already in progress. If the board approves a remodeling project proposed by Superintendent Brad Reed that night, some day there will be a larger board room with a new entrance.
Great Bend High School Activities Director David Meter introduced GBHS’s All Conference student athletes and members of the Kansas Music Educators Association’s Honor Orchestra. Student athletes recognized represented cross country, volleyball, soccer, golf and football.
Before and after the student recognition, Don Marrs with DMA Architects, Salina, spoke to the board about possible building projects. Marrs explained probable construction costs to remodel the district office. There was similar information about a proposal for a new bus barn/maintenance building located north of the District Education Center at 201 S. Patton Road. (See “USD 428 school board hears building proposal,” Great Bend Tribune, Nov. 15, 2016.)
No action was taken by the board, as members wanted time to consider whether or not they want to move ahead with either project. If they do, the next step will be to refine DMA’s preliminary schematic diagrams.
The preliminary $498,000 cost estimate on a remodeling project includes architect and engineering fees and a 15 percent markup for contingencies, so the project might cost less, Marrs said. It includes:
• Exterior facade improvements - $109,000
• Public entrance and new restrooms - $107,000
• Board meeting room remodel - $104,000
• Administrative office area remodel - $106,000
• Reception and business office remodel - $60,000
• Existing storage area remodel - $12,000
A large board meeting room could seat 80-120 people or more. At present, the board members and administrators sit behind a large, horseshoe-shape conference table, but in the new schematic the furniture could be moved if a group wanted to use the space for another purpose.
There would also be a large conference room for training, which occurs frequently, administrators said. While there is some space for meetings now, larger groups have to move to the high school or some other site.
For board meetings, there would be an entrance on the south side of the building, instead of the front doors to the east. People would also have access to restrooms, but the rest of the building could be closed to public access during evening meetings.
There would also be a smaller meeting room that the board could retire to for more private meetings, such as executive sessions. That would make a total of three rooms where meetings could take place at the same time.
The existing heating and air conditioning system could be used, and the only new equipment in the plan is state-of-the-art technology for the board room.
Offices would be “glassed in” so conversations could be more private. Marrs said when he toured the office, he could overhear discussions going on in various parts of the building. “A person in the front doesn’t need to hear what’s being discussed in the business office,” he said.
The outside of the building would be canopied. That, along with brick wainscotting, could provide an appearance similar to the proposed bus barn/maintenance next door.
Reed has requested the board’s “blessing to move forward.” That would lead to more research, but would not be “a final yes,” he said Monday.
The early cost estimate on a free-standing bus barn to the north is $1,575,000, which also includes fees and a 15 percent contingency markup. Marrs said there is room to building next to or behind the office, but building in his suggest location would require less pavement for parking.
The district has a mill levy for funding capital outlay projects. This year’s levy was 6.528 mills. Using that money, Reed said the proposals wouldn’t require additional taxes and wouldn’t deplete the reserves.

Other business

During Monday’s school board meeting, the board also:
• Approved the budget for federal funds totaling $982,027, for special education and early childhood education salaries.
• Approved contributions of kids meals from Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers and of Mini Murph Make n’ Bake Pizza Kits for Kids from Papa Murphy’s, which went to Eisenhower Elementary students.
• Held executive sessions to discuss personnel and the superintendent’s evaluation.
• Approved the personnel report, which noted the contract of Jeb Detter has been voided. He taught sixth grade at Eisenhower Elementary School.