Bathrooms at new high school discussed at BOE meeting


Tiger Media Network

Bathrooms at the new Hays High School were once again a topic of conversation at the Hays USD 489 Board of Education meeting Monday.

In the preliminary plans for the new high school, the bathrooms appear to be single, private bathrooms. In previous meetings, the architects explained private bathrooms are more cost-effective than traditional gendered stalls and also allow for the sinks to be in a public area and monitored by staff. 

Some members of the community are concerned about the potential of private bathrooms.

“I just want to make sure that it’s obviously being recognized that there’s some concerns and some objections about whatever the plan is for the bathroom,” resident Kelly Ann Carr said during public comment. 

Board President Ken Brooks reassured Carr. 

“Nobody’s trying to hide anything; nobody’s trying to do anything underhanded here,” Brooks said. 

Superintendent Ron Wilson said the blueprints are still in design and the board and public will be allowed to see them once they are complete. Bids have not been awarded for the high school project. 

The new School Resource Officer for the high school and middle school was also introduced at the meeting. 

Officer Austin Spencer was selected for the position. Spencer has dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas in psychology and applied behavior science emphasizing in juvenile justice. Before coming to Hays, he worked at the Lawrence Police Department as a patrol officer. 

“I can assure you every day having him there is a benefit to our students and staff undoubtedly, and we have been very grateful to all of the entities that made his part of our school possible,” Hays High Principal Shawn Henderson said. 

Other action items:

  • The board approved the budget for the 2023-24 school year.
  • Guidelines for community use of school facilities were reviewed and approved.
  • Administrative and classified handbooks were approved.
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