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Buhler USD 313 Accepts Grants, Board Authorizes District Financial Advisor to Seek Requests for Proposals to Refinance 2017 Gregory Building Lease Purchase Agreement

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By Lucky Kidd

 

BUHLER, Kan. — The Buhler USD 313 Board of Education Monday authorized the district’s financial advisory, Raymond James, to seek requests for proposals for refinancing of a 2017 lease purchase agreement for the Gregory Building that would have folded into it the financing for remodeling of the two buildings USD 313 recently acquired for Ad Astra Academies and a new daycare facility.

The Gregory lease has a balloon payment coming due February 1st. Because of how the lease was structured at the time and that project not costing as much as expected, the district under the 2017 authorization has sufficient authority to both refinance the remaining balance of the lease by ten years and cover the renovation cost of the former Masonic Lodge on East 23rd and the former Faith Baptist Church at 56th and Plum. Its expected proposal will be back before the board at their December meeting.

The Board approved adoption of a new English Language Arts curriculum resource for Buhler High School. The Actively Learn program was selected following an evaluation process involving ELA teachers and Secondary Curriculum director Paul Erickson, and underwent a two month trial run.

The online-based program is useful in all classes and levels of ELA, adapts to current events, is aligned with state standards, and includes resources for students needing additional assistance and for teachers who can add their own products to this. It also easily connects to Google Classroom. The $44,816 cost for the six year license also includes funds for hardback novel replacement if needed.

Two grants for Buhler USD 313’s Ad Astra Academies were accepted . One of the grants is a $1,000 TGIF grant from Credit Union of America to Brenda Stegman for student supplies, and a $10,000 Roger Billings Rescue Grant to Academies director Erica Shook which will be used to place some students on the Acellus Gold Platform designed especially for special education students. Improving services for special education students in the Ad Astra programs was discussed by Shook in an update on the district’s alternative and virtual programs.

The board also accepted a $700 grant from Home Depot that will be used to build a sandbox with sun shade at Plum Creek Elementary School’s preschool, and a $50 prize awarded Buhler Grade School for their Buhler Frolic parade entry.

Three staff members in Buhler USD 313 will be retiring at the end of the 2023-24 school year. Those include Buhler High School nurse Kathy Clark and social science teacher Patricia Unruh and from Union Valley Elementary School 5th grade teacher Jennifer Smith.

During the meeting the Board recognized members of Buhler High School’s girl’s tennis team, marching band and color guard, and cross country teams including the 4A 4th place girls and state champion boys teams. A side note on the boys team. In winning their 5th state title in six years, they put up the 3rd lowest score in state cross country history… lower is better in this case.

Approval was also given for baseball coaches to attend the American Baseball Coaches Association National Convention in Dallas in January.