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USD 313 Set to Close on Properties for Ad Astra Academies and Childcare Facility


By Lucky Kidd


HUTCHINSON, Kan. Buhler USD 313 Board of Education Monday approved the 2023-24 budget and two other resolutions, one to exceed the local option rate and a second resolution setting the supplemental general, or local option budget at the maximum allowed 33 percent. Only one person addressed the board during the hearings, and this mainly was to ask questions about the budgeting process.

The Board took steps towards completing the purchase of property for Ad Astra Academies and a childcare facility. Board president Greg Lackey was designated to sign all closing documents on behalf of the district for the purchase of the Masonic Lodge building at 1800 East 23rd, which is scheduled to close Friday, and of the former Faith Baptist Church at 56th and Plum, for which an offer has been accepted and closing set for September 21st.

Related to that, the Board last week selected Simpson Construction to serve as construction manager at-risk for remodeling of those two buildings as Buhler Grade School, which will house the other childcare facility for which grant funds have been awarded.

Superintendent Cindy Couchman reviewed for the board the steps that will need to be taken regarding adoption of a new policy mandated by the Kansas Legislature related to enrollment of out of district students, what is often referred to as open enrollment. The Kansas Association of School Boards has drafted a recommended policy, which district administrators have been reviewing.

The law, which sets out a process to determine how many students can be accommodated in a building and the process to determine for accepting students, does have some ambiguities to it as it relates to students not in good standing at their prior school. Adoption of this policy requires a public hearing, which as things now stand will probably happen at the Board’s November meeting.