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School, county continuing negotiations

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

On the surface it seems nothing has changed, but according to Platte County R-3 Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst the wheels of negotiation continue to roll on the proposed community center project between the school district and Platte County Commissioners.

During Tuesday night's board of education meeting, Harpst announced he and Carey Rolofson, board president, had recently met with Platte County 2nd District Commissioner Steve Wegner and Brian Nowotny, Platte County Parks and Recreation director, to discuss a possible partnership between the school district and the county for construction of a community center in Platte City.

Harpst added there have been negotiations made in the proposed project, but nothing has progressed far enough to be discussed with the public. Harpst said new information on the project could be made public within 10 days.

The issue will be discussed further at the October board meeting.

Controversy has surrounded the proposed community center for several months.

Board members announced they would agree to the partnership only if the center contained an 8-lane competitive indoor cold-water pool, a fitness center, an indoor walking/running track, a regulation size practice gym and six outdoor tennis courts.

If agreed upon, the center would be constructed near the Northland Career Center on the school's main campus along Hwy. 92 in Platte City.

County officials have announced they will pursue other land options if necessary. The county has offered $6 million to the joint project, with that money coming from the county's half cent sales tax for parks. Commissioners are concerned the facility R-3 has in mind would be too costly.

In other items, the board heard the school's audit report from auditor Rick Westbrook.

According to Westbrook the school district is in good shape financially. Westbrook added there were only small non compliances on the report, nothing that would be reported at the state level.

Ron Harmon, assistant superintendent, reviewed the preliminary test results of the spring 2002 MAP testing during the meeting.

Harpst said he was not extremely pleased with the tests results.

"This is not a sprint, it's a marathon. We need to make progress overall," Harpst said.

Board members were told construction on school renovations is nearing completion.

Problems with flooring in the Northland Career Center and the cafeteria at Paxton Elementary were addressed. Floor tiles where renovations were made at the schools have begun to come loose following repeated waxing and foot traffic.

Board members will meet Oct. 15 for their next regular scheduled meeting.