College Hill repairs, Bostic expansion on Wichita school board agenda

Wichita school leaders are expected to move forward Monday with an expansion at one of the district’s most popular magnet elementary schools and authorize repairs to another elementary school that was damaged by fire.

School board members are expected to vote Monday on a contract with Sauerwein Construction for a $1.3 million project at Bostic Traditional Magnet Elementary, near Kellogg and Rock Road.

The planned addition includes two special education classrooms with restrooms, a living skills area and an art classroom all designed as a Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved storm shelter. The project also will include a computer classroom, teacher workroom and controlled-entry door so visitors would be routed through the school’s front office.

Bostic, one of four traditional magnet elementary schools in Wichita, is a popular program that typically has a waiting list. District officials said Friday that there are no immediate plans to increase enrollment at the school, which this year has 284 students and is among Wichita’s smallest.

“That may be an option as the program moves forward, but right now, the plans are for using the (additional) rooms for the current population,” district spokeswoman Susan Arensman said in an e-mail.

School board members also will consider $700,000 in preliminary repairs, replacement materials and upgrades for College Hill Elementary, at First and Clifton, which was heavily damaged in a fire Aug. 12.

Officials said some of the expenses should be reimbursed by the district’s property insurance, but they still don’t have a final tally on damage.

“There’s significantly more damage than I think what we all originally anticipated It’s more than just windows and finishes and walls,” said Julie Hedrick, director of facilities. “It’s actually damaged the structure that holds up the roof.

“The past couple months since the fire have been used to assess the contents and try to put dollar (figures) to those lists,” she said. “We’re just now to the point where we’re able to start the rebuild.

“So it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time.”

Damage to the school’s aging mechanical system prompted officials to propose an upgrade, which could cost up to $250,000 in capital outlay funds. Other requirements include bringing the structure up to current code and into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hedrick said. College Hill was built in 1976.

Since Aug. 19, the school has been holding classes at a temporary location, the former Bryant Elementary School near Ninth and West. Officials said it could be a semester or longer before College Hill students will return to their fire-damaged school.

Also on Monday, the school board also will consider a proposal to authorize GraceMed Health Clinic to operate a satellite clinic at Jardine Middle School in southeast Wichita. GraceMed is proposing a small medical clinic similar to those at Cloud Elementary, Dodge Elementary and Gordon Parks Academy.

GraceMed has agreed to pay all construction costs for the clinic space, estimated at $850,000. Jardine, a technology magnet, is at 3550 Ross Parkway in Planeview.

GraceMed opened two school-based neighborhood clinics this fall, using federal grants awarded in 2010.

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