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Mulvane school board votes to keep indoor track open for seniors during school hours

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 4:16 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 6:31 a.m.

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The Mulvane school board voted unanimously this week to continue allowing senior citizens to use an indoor track at Mulvane Grade School during school hours.

Tom Keil, spokesman for the Mulvane district, said the board voted 7-0 Monday to authorize its attorney to negotiate and finalize an agreement with the Mulvane Recreation Commission over public use of the track and two new fitness studios.

The board also ordered staff to conduct a security assessment of the grade school and provide recommendations to the board.

Some parents, upset about public access to the track and fitness studios, urged the board last week to stop letting anyone but staff and students into the gym while school is in session.

The new track and studios at the school, completed in March as part of a bond issue approved by voters in 2012, are leased by the recreation commission. The facilities, at 441 SE Louis Drive in Mulvane, have separate entrances staffed by recreation commission employees, and members do not have access to the gymnasium or other parts of the school during the school day.

Only people 55 and older may use the elevated walking track, which overlooks the gymnasium, during school hours.

Monica Cross, a Mulvane mother of three, said she and some other parents pulled their children out of physical education class and other gym activities Tuesday over concerns for their security. But an e-mail from the school Wednesday informed Cross that any student not in class will get an unexcused absence and “will not receive PE participation points.”

“The board made their decision, so I guess it’s just over,” Cross said. “I mean, what do you do?

“It’s just shocking. I feel like we read about safety (concerns) in everything, and that was the issue here. It’s just a difference of opinion.”

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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