STARS bids approved, work set to begin on countywide trade school

Updated: Feb 26

PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton USD 344 Board of Education took the next step in making a regional trade school a reality on Monday, Jan. 10. The board approved about $75,000 in contracts for initial repairs to the former Cox Motor Co. building on Laurel Street.

The contract to install nine new doors on the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) building went to Installation Plus out of Butler, Mo. The company bid just over $38,600 to install the overhead doors leading into the shop area. Superintendent Travis Laver said the company informed him that springs for the doors were in short supply, which could delay installation.

Rick Sandness Electric Heating and Cooling, Prescott, was awarded the contract for installing the heating and cooling system with a bid of about $45,100. The bid includes installing four roof-top units and 12 heating units. The shop area will not get air conditioning.

Finally, the board approved replacement of sidewalk around the building for nearly $4,800. That contract went to Johnson Construction.

Laver said that would account for most of work on the building that would be done by contractors. The remain of the work will be done by building maintenance workers in the three districts: Jayhawk, Pleasanton and Prairie View.

Jayhawk USD 346 Superintendent Shawn Thomas informed his board the same evening that work was about start on the project. “STARS is a go,” he said.

He said the high school had already begun pre-enrolling students for several different trades, including heavy equipment operator, welder, medical coding clerk, and emergency medical technician.

He cautioned that not all of those proposed subject areas would draw enough students to make a class, but he said interest was up among the high school students. He pointed out that JLHS students are now traveling to take trade courses at Prairie View, Paola and Garnett.

He also said there is interest in the new program from students at Louisburg, Garnett, and perhaps Paola and even Fort Scott.

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