The Garden City USD 457 Board of Education on Monday night voted in favor of a proposal to change the location of where buses will drop off and pick up students at Kenneth Henderson Middle School, an option made possible by the Garden City Family YMCA’s plan to build an inflatable dome behind the school.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, which would involve the construction of a bus lane running from Mary Street and along the parking lot behind KHMS, 2406 Fleming St., where it leads to Henderson Drive.
Currently, buses drop off and pick up students near the front of the school and enter and exit off Fleming Street, and school officials believe moving the bus lane to the rear of the school near the dome will help ease congestion near the student entry at the front of the school.
USD 457 Superintendent Steve Karlin said Stewart Nelson of Gibson, Mancini, Carmichael & Nelson, PA reviewed the plans and suggested moving the bus lane over some 100 feet. The YMCA, according to Karlin, will have a loading dock at the new facility.
“In the event there is a need to expand Kenneth Henderson school, the Y has agreed to move its dock to better accommodate the building addition,” Karlin said. “The child pick-up area will remain at the front door while the buses loading or unloading children will take place in back. Even taking into account that staff from Main & Palmer Dentistry and Homestead of Garden City park on both sides of Henderson, a car and a bus can safely pass one another while some cars will be able to take Sloan Street to College Avenue. The bus exit will run from Henderson to Mary Street and congestion should be minimized.”
At November’s board meeting, Karlin said the parking lot adjacent to the would-be lane is currently paid for by the city of Garden City. He added that the city has offered to pay for the bus lane along the perimeter of the parking lot if the board agreed to adopt the project.
The board previously authorized the start of construction on the sports dome, which will be managed and maintained by the YMCA and shared with KHMS. The facility will include courts for basketball and volleyball, an indoor soccer area and a walking track. The structure will be about 118 feet wide and 223 feet long with an inflatable roof that reaches 36 feet at its peak.
In other business Monday:
• The board voted unanimously to accept a resolution that encourages Kansas’ Congressional delegation to work to ensure that Congress reviews the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that also specifically addresses the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy issue prior to President Donald Trump’s March 5, 2018, deadline in order to ensure a national immigration system that is reasonable and fair for all involved.
• Jennie Barker Elementary School principal Karen Murrell provided an update on the school’s activities. Matt Horney, third-grade teacher at Jennie Barker, presented the school’s use of iPads in everyday learning situations. He was accompanied by six students who described different programs or apps they use on the computers that help them understand classroom materials, communicate with family members and utilize virtual pictures and immediate testing over assignments as just a few of the ways they continue to learn through technology.
• Dr. Gloria Hopkins was honored with a plaque for her nine years of service on the school board. Hopkins served as board president twice during her tenure.
• The board heard a presentation by John Geist, plant facilities director, about the district’s long-range facilities plan. The board praised Geist and his committee for the amount of detail and the schedule provided in the report.
“It’s all too easy to neglect the maintenance of the buildings, and I appreciate the detail that is reflected in the thought and thoroughness of this report,” said Jean Clifford, board member. “Whereas it’s a fluid piece that is constantly evolving, it provided us with a plan to keep all of our buildings in the best possible shape.”
The board will vote on whether to accept the plan at its Dec. 21 meeting.