The purchase of carpet and furniture for the USD 290 Central Office were both approved by a 4-2 margin at the Ottawa school board’s June 25 meeting.
The board approved the purchase of office units and furniture from Scott Rice for the district office for $124,151.48. It then approved the purchase of new carpet for the Central Office for $67,650 from the same company. The money is part of the district’s Capital Outlay fund.
Both items were pulled out of the consent agenda by board member Harold Wingert who wanted the items put out for bid. The carpet and furniture were purchased from Scott Rice which was a part of the state’s bid list and had previously been used for carpet and furniture in the high school.
“We have a lot of fine carpet people in Ottawa,” he said. “I would like to see us come up with what is our need after we do this plan, we need carpet, we need this, we need that. Then lets bid it out and invite local people (to bid). If they choose not to bid, fine.”
Dr. Jeanne Stroh said the project could be put out for bid but that the Scott Rice company was very good about giving discounts and she did not think vendors in Ottawa would be able to provide the same office units.
“Before we spend $197,000 — because Scott Rice is using a vendor out of Lenexa so they are not even laying the carpet — I would like to put together a bid package,” Wingert said. “I don’t think there is anything time sensitive that if we don’t do it today, that the world’s coming to an end. I think it’s the best use of our money to see if there are local (vendors) and maybe even savings.”
A motion was made by Wingert to put the purchase on hold but that motion failed 4-2 with Wingert and Chris Cunningham casting no votes.
In other action the board:
• Approved the purchase of English Language Arts (ELA) teaching materials from Fountas and Pinnell for $269,103.93.
• Approved tax rebates for six properties as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
• Heard building reports for Garfield and Sunflower Elementary schools.