Monday, September 01, 2014

Upgrade group sets Eugene Field tour

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 1/17/2014

The Ottawa school district’s facilities committee plans to tour Eugene Field Elementary School Monday as part of its ongoing efforts to assess district needs, Jeanne Stroh, Ottawa superintendent, said.

Stroh and the Ottawa school board this fall launched a facilities upgrade initiative, based on the results of a community survey that gauged public opinion about what renovations might win community support. The facilities committee, formed in November, represents a cross-section of district patrons, as well as includes representatives from the school board and district student body.

The Ottawa school district’s facilities committee plans to tour Eugene Field Elementary School Monday as part of its ongoing efforts to assess district needs, Jeanne Stroh, Ottawa superintendent, said.

Stroh and the Ottawa school board this fall launched a facilities upgrade initiative, based on the results of a community survey that gauged public opinion about what renovations might win community support. The facilities committee, formed in November, represents a cross-section of district patrons, as well as includes representatives from the school board and district student body.

The community survey, delivered to the school board in March 2013 by Olathe-based research firm ETC Institute, showed 84 percent of respondents said they would support improvements to Ottawa High School, with 61 percent in favor of remodeling the school. The committee toured the high school Jan. 6 at 1120 S. Ash St. and is continuing to evaluate the district’s facilities this winter. Monday’s tour at Eugene Field, 720 Tremont Ave., is the next step in that process, Stroh said.

School principals, staff and site councils recently compiled lists of needs for their buildings, and the committee used its meetings in November and December to evaluate those lists and ask questions, Stroh said.

The goal of the committee is to “determine facility needs in the district and recommend a course of action to the board to ensure that every student in the district has a bright future,” Stroh said.

Those recommendations — which could come later this year — might lead to putting a bond proposal before district voters sometime in the future to pave the way for facilities improvements, though all options are on the table and no specific course of action has been determined, Stroh said previously. 

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