Lawrence school board to consider selling land to affordable housing group, paying contractor more

May 22, 2023 | News


The Lawrence school board on Monday will consider selling surplus property to Tenants to Homeowners, and increasing payment to the contractor the district hired to help with budget planning.

Tenants to Homeowners submitted a bid of $1.2 million — nearly three times the low bid — for land at 2600 W. 25th St., just north of the athletic fields at Holcom Park, according to the agenda.


The nonprofit community land trust develops and manages permanently affordable homes, including rentals, and provides education on how to be a successful homeowner. Tenants to Homeowners has been looking to expand its housing offerings to the west — out of nearly 125 properties it manages, only a handful of them are west of Iowa Street.

If the school board approves the sale, the money will go into the district’s capital outlay account, which is primarily reserved for upkeep of buildings, furniture and technology purchases.

• East Heights: Also, since the school board voted to close Pinckney Elementary School after this week, administrators are recommending that the Community Transition (C-Tran) programs held at the East Heights building, 1430 Haskell Ave., be transferred to Pinckney’s building, according to the agenda.

To start that process, the board must approve a release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to sell the East Heights building as surplus property. If approved, the RFP will be processed and brought back to the board later, and the board can choose to accept or reject a bid. If the property is ultimately sold, that money will also be added to the district’s capital outlay account, according to the agenda.

The sale and RFP release are on the meeting’s consent agenda, a list of items that are considered routine and approved with one vote unless a board member or the superintendent pulls an item for further discussion.

August Rudisell/Lawrence TimesEast Heights

• Increase in RSP & Associates contract: The board on Aug. 8 approved hiring RSP & Associates, an Overland Park-based education consulting company, on a $120,000 contract to help the district with its 2023-24 budget planning process.

Proposing to close schools required RSP & Associates to do additional work outside of the contract’s scope, including meeting with the Boundary Advisory Committee to create new elementary school boundaries and presenting at an additional board meeting, according to the agenda.

The agenda states that two positions employed by the district last year would have been able to help make projections and budget scenarios, but due to budget cuts, those positions were contracted out.

The board on Monday will be asked to approve an additional $27,500 for RSP & Associates’ contract to be paid out of the district’s general fund, according to the agenda. That’s about a 23% increase.

The pay increase is also on the board’s consent agenda.