Saturday, June 16, 2001

In Lakota, students putting the squeeze on the district




By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — The Lakota School District is getting its first triple-wide modular unit.

        But not for the students.

        By fall the district's treasurer and his staff will move into the unit, now being set up on the east side of the administrative office building on Tylersville Road. It will have no running water or restrooms.

[photo] The Lakota School District treasurer and staff have been forced to move into this trailer.
(Michael Snyder photos)
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        But moving the treasurer and his staff of eight, who handle payroll and accounts payable, will free up much-needed space, allowing for the expansion of the personnel office, which will increase by up to four people.

        It is the first time in 10 years that any positions have been added to the personnel department despite an 83 percent increase in staff, from 922 employees in 1990 to 1,690 in 2000, said David Greenburg, director of personnel and student services. Another 45 people will be hired for the upcoming school year.

        “We're putting the treasurer and his staff in a trailer and I don't feel good about it,” board member Dan Warncke said at a recent meeting.

        The township's board of zoning appeals approved the modular unit, but attached a restriction: it can stay no longer than two years.

        “Their concern is that this portable would become a permanent building,” Mr. Warncke said. “They also see it as an eyesore, but they clearly saw the need.”

[photo] The cramped treasurer's office now holds 11 people.
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        The move will allow two curriculum coordinators to move out of the special-service office on Cincinnati-Dayton Road and into the administrative office.

        The move has been under discussion for a couple of years, said Superintendent Kathleen Klink. She said the task now facing the district is to consolidate administrators in one spot.

        “We have people literally everywhere,” Mrs. Klink said. “We have technology farmed out in one spot. Special education is in another spot. Curriculum is in another location and data is in yet another.”

        “I think most of us would agree the situation has gotten where it is today because, in the short run and long run, kids come first,” said board member Sandy Wheatley.

        In the last 10 years, the district has built nine schools to accommodate an enrollment that has jumped from 8,713 in 1990 to 15,156 this past fall. Two more are expected to open in 2003. Another 550 to 600 students are expected to enroll by the start of school in August.

       



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