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Charter School Agreement Among Action Items Considered by Board

By Jeff Murphy, December 16, 2015

WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 16, 2015) – Renewal of a charter agreement with Hope Leadership Academy (HLA) in Kansas City for a five-year period, the demolition of five university-owned houses, a contract for on-call architectural and engineering services, and the establishment of a contingency fund for Crane Stadium-Tompkins Field improvements were among items approved by the Board of Governors when it met in plenary session Dec. 11.

Board action regarding Hope Leadership Academy followed a presentation by Vici Hughes, director of the Office of Charter Schools at UCM. As school sponsor, UCM has renewed HLA’s charter through June 30, 2021.

Hope Leadership Academy opened in August 2011 as a neighborhood school serving families in an area considered the most in need of a quality school after two schools located in the same area were closed by the Kansas City Public Schools in 2010. Student enrollment at HLA for 2015-2016 is 120 students with 94 percent minority enrollment and 100 percent of the students qualifying for free lunches. Its current charter was set to expire June 30, 2016. HLA’s charter renewal application will be presented to the Missouri State Board of Education in February 2016, and materials supporting the recommendation must be sent to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Dec. 31, 2015.

The charter school renewal application for HLA changes the grade configuration of the school to two sections of grades K-4, and its curriculum reflects educational values and beliefs related to research about the importance of character education. When the school first opened, it enrolled students in grades K-2 the first year, and expected to add a grade level each year until grades K-8 were in school. In 2013, however, the new Marion Ewing Kauffman School opened to enroll students from the HLA neighborhood and five other neighborhoods needing quality schools. This new, larger school, now enrolls students in grades 5-12.

In other business, the board authorized the university to move forward with the demolition of the Mitchell Street farm house, university owned houses at 705 and 705-1/2 S. Washington St., and recently acquired houses at 210 and 212 W. South St. All of these structures are vacated, and in need of significant repairs. The university is combining their demolition into a single project, and anticipates total cost for their removal to be below $100,000.

The board also approved the establishment of a contingency equivalent to 10 percent - $111,300 – of the approved project cost for Crane Stadium-Tompkins Field improvements. The project, totals $1,113,000 and includes the cost of $990,000 for field construction and an Astroturf Diamond R. Series baseball infield that is funded by a gift from UCM alumnus Jim Crane. It also includes $123,000 for approved alternates and miscellaneous project expenses such as geotechnical investigation, land disturbance, erosion control, and fence repair to be funded with university reserves. The original proposal did not include any other project contingency. If needed, the $111,300 in contingency funds would come from university reserves.

A contract for on-call architectural and engineering services was approved for Gould Evans Associations, Burns & McDonnell, and The Clark Enersen Partners for one year, for the period Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2016, with one-year renewal options.


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