Feb 10, 2024

Couchman: Remodeling of facilities will happen soon

Posted Feb 10, 2024 12:10 PM

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Buhler USD 313 Superintendent Cindy Couchman told Hutch Post that the progress is continuing on renovations to the buildings that will house the Ad Astra Academy students and the child care centers at 56th and Plum and at Buhler Grade.

"We're moving right along," Couchman said. "We had bids that we sent out for our contractors. They were due to be turned in on Jan. 31. We had sort of a pre-bid meeting. We've kind of gotten them organized. Our Construction Manager at Risk, Simpson Construction, they kind of organized our low to high bids for us. We will be accepting our bids on Monday night's board meeting. Contracts will be sent out next week. Just like that, demolition begins on all three buildings."

The goal is to turn this around as quickly as possible, especially with regard to the old Masonic building where Ad Astra Academy will be. 

"We're pretty excited about that," Couchman said. "We've seen some renderings and floor plans now. It's really starting to come to life. The pictures of what it would look like always help me. We are committed to Ad Astra Academies being in their location by the start of the school year next year."

The day care buildings may take a little longer.

"We have to wait on Fire Marshal approval, KDHE approval," Couchman said. "That's a little bit trickier to say, we will be. I know that the buildings itself will be done in the fall. The actual approval for everything, it might be a month or two after it. I would assume, without making this even a stretch of a goal, that the childcare facilities would be open by January."

The sooner they can get them open, the better they can compete for employees, as child care availability is a large issue for potential teachers in the district.

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