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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wichita school board to vote on West High bond project

By Suzanne Perez Tobias
The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita school board is moving ahead with another large bond project — a $12.7 million addition and renovation to West High School.

Board members are expected to vote Monday on a contract with National Contractors Inc. for the West High project.

The planned addition includes a 2,000-seat gym, fine-arts suite, classrooms, a remodeled culinary-arts room, parking lot and two Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved storm shelter areas.

The school’s physical education facilities will be renovated, as will other areas of the building at 820 S. Osage.

In early 2011, district officials put many of the projects in the district’s $370 million bond issue on hold while they dealt with budget cuts and re-evaluated priorities and spending. Since then, the board has moved forward with several projects, though many have been scaled back in places.

Also at Monday’s meeting, board members are expected to approve the final payment to acquire properties by eminent domain near North High School. The board will pay $29,215 to cover state-mandated moving costs for eight property owners or occupants.

And, during an executive session Monday, board members likely will discuss next school year’s contract with the district’s 4,000 teachers.

Contract talks between the district and the local teachers union broke down last month. The teams are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator in a closed-door session Tuesday.

The school board meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the North High School lecture hall, 1437 Rochester.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or

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