project costs increase
Some unexpected expenditures arose in the construction
of a southwest addition to the West Platte High School.
According to Superintendent Kyle Stephenson, nearly $20,000
in unexpected costs came up when electrical and plumbing
lines were found underground that werent supposed
to be there.
Stephenson stated that the portion of the building that
was built in the 1930s was supposed to have these
lines run through the walls of the building, but once
construction began it was determined that they were underground.
Currently the cost of the addition is $1.2 million, but
Stephenson stated that the board didnt take any
final action on amending that cost due to the architects
negotiations with the construction company. Stephenson
said its the boards intent to hold out on any final
decision until the architect has been able to negotiate
the new cost down as much as possible.
The $1.2 million addition will feature a new cafeteria,
multi-purpose room, weight room, band room and a new entrance
to the back of the school, as well as renovations to the
junior high science and art classrooms.
Stephenson also stated the board was informed about a
potential parks and recreation partnership between the
Platte County Commission and the school district. The
partnership would entail a $1 million contribution from
the county in the addition of baseball fields, a possible
facility with indoor basketball courts/place to hold soccer
events, or additional parks space.
Stephenson said the partnership is only a discussion,
but if something were to be established the facilities
developed would be owned by the school district. While
they may be owned by the district, the district would
try and retain other entities in aiding with maintenance
needs and costs. He stated one such possibility may be
the leasing of the facilities to the Weston Sports Association.
The purpose of this partnership would be to try
and improve the quality of life for everyone over here,
Stephenson also reported that the district has 290 students
signed up to date for summer school, with 30 students
signed up for drivers education. Summer school, which
will run from May 28-June 28, will be operated for the
first time by Edison Summer Schools of New York. Edison
will handle the curriculum, while funding half of the
districts transportation costs and paying the teachers
The board also discussed the declining enrollment the
district has seen over the past couple of years. Stephenson
reported that since his first year with the district in
2000, the district has seen a steady decline in enrollment.
In 2000, enrollment for West Platte stood at 711 students,
this year the school districts enrollment was 685 students.
Stephenson stated he is currently estimating seeing an
enrollment of around 670-675 students for the upcoming
2002-2003 school year.
When you graduate a class of 64 students like we
did this year, and then you only anticipate a kindergarten
class of around 51 students coming in next year, you can
see where the loss is, said Stephenson.
Stephenson also reported that the board of education
received the assessed evaluation for 2002-2003 for the
district. New construction for the district saw an increase
of $405,150 while the personal property changes saw an
increase of $157,368.
We just havent experienced the growth like
other districts in the area, said Stephenson. I
was a little disappointed with this years evaluations,
but maybe next year will be better.
The board also approved stage 3 of the Career Ladder
Program. The program is offered to teachers who have completed
phases one and two of the program previously. Stephenson
stated that teachers who decide to participate in phase
3 of the program and complete it, will receive an additional
$5,000 bonus to their salary. The district will be responsible
for the funding of 60 percent of the program, with the
state responsible for the remaining 40 percent.
Stephenson stated that the board also approved the purchase
of new equipment for the new cafeteria and the old cafeteria
for $85,000. Board members also approved a raise in the
base salary for the support staff of $.35. Stephenson
said all the districts support staff were re-hired, and
the raise will affect approximately 23 staff members.