By RACHEL COLEMAN
• Leader & Times
A second monthly meeting squeezed into the USD No. 480 Board of Education calendar was scheduled for noon today in the Central Office conference room. The board’s original schedule for the month called for just one meeting, but the second, small-agenda gathering will allow board members to take care of routine business before the busy holiday season begins.
The only item of note on the agenda is a vote on the board’s selection of a construction management firm. At its Oct. 7 meeting, the board agreed to gather information about construction management, in order to streamline the bond issue and bid process.
Without a CMAR, it’s difficult for a project to reflect real costs during the decision-making stage, said director of auxiliary services Robert Burkey. He emphasized that no project has been defined, no particular plan has been selected, but the district is endeavoring to get all necessary pieces in place so that when the special election occurs next spring, voters will have a real, clear sense of what the project would be.
The board and administration will focus attention on an upcoming project all week, as architecture firm DLR conducts community meetings to gather more information from the public about what sort of bond issue would meet with voter approval. As the board meets Monday, DLR will be meeting with members of the 40-person VISION team, and any other community members who have opted to join in, to refine options for possible projects. Using information gathered at the last round of public meetings, the group will craft several options to present to the public during the next five days.
A series of 16 public meetings begins this evening, with 5:30 p.m. meetings at the Rock Island Depot, for the Liberal Young Professionals group, and McDermott Elementary School gymnasium, for the public, followed by a 7 p.m. meeting at the Liberal High School cafeteria, also for the public.
Subsequent meetings are set for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as listed on the attached schedule. USD 480 officials sent out text messages and phone messages to all parents in the district last week, and say they’re hoping to hear from a large part of the community.
In regard to today’s noon meeting, the school board will select one of the three finalists to serve as construction consultants. Five companies submitted their qualifications. The committee narrowed the field down to three to ask for Request for Proposals from and schedule interviews. The interviews were conducted Thursday. JE Dunn, Nabholz, and A&P Construction were all given a one-hour interview.