Only bid $1

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Additional efforts will be made to attract a buyer for LaHarpe Elementary School, USD 257 board members decided Monday night after the only bid was $1 from LaHarpe.
Sealed bids were due Friday.
“Another person called and asked what the taxes might be,” Dr. Craig Neuenswander, superintendent of schools, said. “He didn’t bid.”
Neuenswander pointed out the effort to sell the school was done only locally.
Darrel Catron proposed broadening the offering to metropolitan newspapers, a motion which passed with a deadline of Oct. 12, the first October board meeting.
Neuenswander said the building might be sold through eBay, the online auction house, but that approach likely would take three or four months and would require hiring a broker.
LaHarpe’s bid of $1 came with a letter from Mayor Lloyd Turner. He said LaHarpe would move its city hall to the building, develop a public library, have a museum room, and allow public use of the gymnasium and other rooms for a variety of community activities. The letter also said LaHarpe might lease space to a daycare and private business to generate revenue to help with cost of operations.
Two bids were made for two metal buildings and a lot northeast of the school owned by the district. Both — $800 by Gene Weatherbie and $2,678.91 by John Womack — were rejected.
Neuenswander said the buildings were used to store school equipment, including surplus items held for auction every few years, and if the buildings were sold the district eventually might have to build another elsewhere.

GAIL DUNBAR, curriculum director, said she was pleased with test scores having to do with Average Yearly Progress (AYP) last year.
The district is on improvement because its graduation rate of 55 percent for special education students last year failed to meet the AYP target of 75 percent. Also, math scores at the middle school fell short the year before.
As a result, the district must work with Kansas State Department of Education to develop an improvement plan. A plan already exists for the middle and high schools from a year ago. The high school’s occurred because the initial test scores report, later found in error, indicated the school failed to meet AYP standards.
Dunbar noted that last year the overall student body had an 85.3 percent average in reading, above the 76.7 percent target, and 82.7 percent in math, above the 70.5 target. The district’s overall graduation rate was 80.2 percent.
Neuenswander said the district would develop information about the H1N1 (swine flu) virus that would be provided to parents. He said the district had taken steps in years past to deal with virus transmission, including having dispensers of hand disinfectant in classrooms and using antiseptic sprays in routine cleaning.