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Buhler USD 313 Board Approves Memorandum of Understanding to Develop District Smart Solar Program


By Lucky Kidd


BUHLER, Kan. — The Buhler USD 313 Board of Education Monday approved a memorandum of understanding with GRP Wegman to develop a smart solar program for the district. The project, for which USD 313 is not being charged, involves development of a solar capital benefits analysis for a potential solar project in the district, an item that the board has touched on in the past.

This would establish a foundation for a future solar project and other associated items as identified. One concept being looked at would provide for solar systems at the three elementary schools, Prairie Hills Middle School and Buhler High School, that would have a net cost after credits and incentives of just over 5.2 million dollars, with a payback of investment in just over eight years through significant savings on electric bills, which is a substantial expense for USD 313.

The Board approved an out of state travel request to allow five members of Buhler High School’s Debate and Forensics program and Coach Dakota Yates to attend the National Speech and Debate Association national tournament June 14-22 in Des Moines, Iowa. This would involve use of a district vehicle and possible other costs, with private fundraising ongoing to offset that.

Team members Chase Beals, Rex Bradley, Conner Friars, Bailey Harbaugh, and Henry Trumpp qualified for the national tournament by placing in a NSDA district qualifier, where they mainly competed against 5A and 6A schools. Three of them were also part of Buhler’s 3rd place 4A state debate team earlier this year,

The Board accepted a proposal to start the program beginning with the 2024-25 winter season. There’s been at least one girl involved in the wrestling program at Buhler High School since 2020. At the middle school level, basketball and wrestling operate on split seasons where they don’t overlap. The cost to add this would be minimal for the district. Prairie Hills is the only Patriot League School that does not offer girl’s wrestling. The Board also authorized two additional assistant coaches for the Buhler High School golf team, which will be funded privately.

Among a number of personnel items acted upon was a change for staffing of the Shining Stars and Cares Club programs. With two sections of Shining Stars at BGS for the 2024-25 school year the current director and assistant in that program will transition to full time duties with Shining Stars resigning from their Cares Club duties.

In other personnel related matters the Board approved revised job description for Buhler High School’s Athletic Department Secretary to add additional duties, adding a requirement for a current driver’s license to the job descriptions for the Technology Director and senior technology technician, and updating of classified wage schedules. A staff resignation accepted by the Board was that of Union Valley Elementary School Student Success Advocate Brittney Jennings, who is leaving to become principal at Canton/Galva Elementary School.