Wichita school board looks at options for Southeast High

WICHITA, Kansas — Superintendent John Allison presented different options for Southeast High School and the southeast quadrant high school and the costs associated with both schools during the Board of Education’s Monday night meeting.

The three options presented include: renovating just Southeast, building the southeast quadrant high school and moving current Southeast students to the new school, and keeping both schools open and proceeding with the original bond plan.

The BOE looked at scenarios for land acquisition around Southeast High School and possibly purchasing additional property to expand the school’s PE/Athletic facilities to make them equitable with other high schools.

The scenarios range from no additional property purchases to up to 43 tracks, for costs ranging from $0 to $5.6 million in addition to the construction costs for the bond project.

The district planned to purchase property as part of the 2008 bond issue, but capital equalization funding cuts at the state level have significantly impacted the capital outlay funds available for this purpose.

The board also looked at staffing and operating costs for all three options. It would cost around $9.7 million in additional yearly operating costs if both Southeast and the southeast quadrant high schools.

Superintendent Allison shared potential uses for the current Southeast if the board decides to move the school to the new southeast quadrant high school.

He said one consideration is to relocate the Alvin Morris Administrative Center and the Focht Instructional Support Center to the site.

Superintendent Allison also said the Wichita Area Technical College has expressed interest in co-locating some of its technical education programs at the facility.

“As we’ve said repeatedly, it would not be a vacated facility,” he said.

“Some think we are dragging our feet with this issue,” said BOE member Barb Fuller. “But I appreciate the additional information so we can process all options before we make a decision.”

Throughout May, the district will collect feedback from parents, current Southeast students, future Southeast students, neighbors, realtors, staff and other groups.

The board plans to process the community input and make a decision by June 24.

The board will begin to discuss the benefits and challenges of the three options at upcoming meetings.


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