When they met Wednesday, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education voted to have an architectural firm assist school district officials with a possible bond issue.

When they met Wednesday, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education voted to have an architectural firm assist school district officials with a possible bond issue.

The architectural and engineering firm DRL Group will assist with various aspects of a bond issue including a possible campaign.

Superintendent Mike Roth has said the firm will not charge the district anything unless a bond issue passes.

Board members met last week to discuss a possible bond issue. At that time, Roth said district officials already had met with representatives from DLR Group.

With bonds from an earlier bond issue scheduled to be paid off soon, Roth said last week that the board has the opportunity to raise between $45 million and $50 million through bonds without increasing the district's mill levy.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

He said the district may be able to borrow between $35 and $40 million and still lower the mill levy from its current level.

Any bond issue will have to be approved by voters in the school district.

Representatives of DRL Group were on hand for Wednesday's school board meeting. Troy Wade, community consensus expert, said DLR Group is a national firm, but he works out of an Overland Park office.

Roth reviewed several projects last week that he said could be part of a bond issue.

But Wade said Wednesday that the staff at DRL Group do not have a plan or design for a bond issue.

"This is something the community needs to be a part of," he said.

Amber Beverlin, principal-in-charge for DRL Group, said representatives of the firm will assist the district through the bond process. If a bond election is successful, Beverlin said she will continue to be involved in the project.

The vote to use the services of DRL Group was 5-0. Board members Nancy Klemp and Loyal Torkelson were absent.

Board approved DRL Group without formally requesting proposals from other firms. Roth said the board is not required to issue a request for proposals for the type of services that will be provided by DRL Group.

After the meeting, Roth said the next step will probably be a meeting between administrators from the district's central office and representatives of DRL Group. He said they will start an information gathering process, which will include community meetings.

He said the district also will advertise for a construction manager, who can provide cost estimates for a possible bond issue.

Roth has proposed a timeline in which board members will be asked in December about whether to put a bond issue before voters. He has said a bond election could take place in April.

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