Wichita school board to hear from architect for new Southeast High

Wichita school board members will get their first look Monday at Superintendent John Allison’s budget for the coming school year.

They also are expected to enter into a contract with Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture to design a $54 million new Southeast High School at 127th East and Pawnee.

The new high school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, is by far the largest project of a $370 million bond issue that voters approved in 2008.

Board members voted last month to build the school. The current Southeast High at Lincoln and Edgemoor likely will be used for district offices and technical education programs.

Schaefer Johnson designed the new Northeast Magnet High School, which opened last fall near 53rd North and Rock Road in Bel Aire. The firm also was the district’s consultant on the bond issue campaign and is the district’s bond manager.

The firm will use Northeast High as a prototype for the new Southeast, which will reduce architectural costs, said Julie Hedrick, director of facilities for the Wichita district. According to a fee schedule on Monday’s agenda, the architectural fee for new construction costing $8 million or more is 5 percent. Schaefer Johnson’s fee for Southeast High will be 1.5 percent less, or 3.5 percent of the total project cost – about $1.9 million.

Unlike Northeast Magnet, which does not have outdoor athletic facilities, the new Southeast will feature a district stadium and track, baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, practice fields and other athletic amenities.

“Even though it’s a prototype, there’s still a lot of design involved,” Hedrick said. After the architects design the project, general contractors will competitively bid on the construction.

Also on Monday, school board members and the public will get their first look at the district’s budget for the 2013-14 school year.

Jim Freeman, chief financial officer for the Wichita district, said the budget assumes the same base state per-pupil funding but that fixed costs for such things as fuel, utilities and health care are expected to rise. The district expects enrollment to increase by 300 students.

The board meets at 6 p.m. Monday in the North High lecture hall, 1437 Rochester. If board members authorize publication of the proposed budget, a public hearing will be set for Aug. 12.

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