UG committees to meet Monday and Tuesday; KCK school board to meet Tuesday

Unified Government committees are scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday nights, with the KCK school board also having its regular meeting on Tuesday night.

A special virtual meeting has been called for 5 p.m. Tuesday for the UG’s Economic Development and Finance Committee to discuss the assignment of the Homefield development project.

Homefield is a project being built at the former Schlitterbahn water park site near 98th and State that includes a youth sports complex and a hotel.

According to the UG meeting agenda, the main change to the existing development agreement will be that two bond issuances will be combined into one. The original deal called for $75 million in the first bond issue and $55 million in the second; and the new agreement would issue a single $130 million.

The UG EDF Committee meeting will be around the same time as the KCK school board meeting. The regularly scheduled Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25.

UG Monday night committee meetings

Two UG committees are scheduled to meet Monday night, starting at 5 p.m.

On the agenda for the UG Public Works and Safety Committee meeting at 5 p.m. Monday is a revised ordinance for the Safe and Welcoming City Act.

According to the agenda, revisions to the proposed ordinance include that the UG will contract with a program administrator to administer an ID program; the program administrator will issue the ID; the UG will not obtain or retain records that are provided to the program administrator to obtain an ID; the UG will require the program administrator to defend against the disclosure of their records; and the UG will require the program administrator to provide language assistance for those applying for the ID.

Also on the PWS agenda is an eminent domain action on 47th Avenue, for the reconstruction of the street from Mission Road to Rainbow Boulevard.

In addition, revisions to the county’s emergency operations plan are on the PWS agenda.

Also on the PWS agenda is an application approval for travel, tourism and outdoor recreation grant for the KC Levees and Riverfront Project.

Another item on the PWS agenda include approval of an honorary street sign honoring Dr. Vernard Johnson, a gospel music “Hall of Famer” who was well known internationally as a gospel saxophonist. A street near Amazing Grace Church, 2955 Cissna St., will be changed to from Cissna to Chief Ambassador Dr. Vernard Johnson Street under this proposal.

Other items on the PWS agenda are an update on the compost facility feasibility study; and the public works quarterly report.

The UG Administration and Human Services Committee will meet on Monday night after the end of the PWS Committee meeting.

On the agenda for the AHS meeting is approval of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Subcommittee allocation recommendation from the UG Health Department’s additional needs for 2022 and beyond.

Also on the AHS agenda is approval of the 47th Street overlay district update; a proposed ordinance to prohibit conversion therapy on minors; a presentation about the UG VISTA program and request for approval for a new AmeriCorps program, Public Health AmeriCorps; and an update from the Planning and Urban Design Department.

The meetings are carried on UGTV, YouTube and Zoom. For informationa bout how to connect to the meetings, visit

KCK school board meeting to be at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday

The regular Kansas City, Kansas, school board meeting is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25. The meeting agenda is at

The KCK school board meeting will be shown online at

The board is scheduled to discuss budget priorities and COVID contact tracing, among many other topics.

Wyandotte County students earn concrete certification at K-State

Two students from Wyandotte County at Kansas State University have earned concrete technician certification following completion of coursework and successfully passing an exam.

Christopher Betzen, senior in construction science and management, Bonner Springs; and Alexis Susunaga, senior in construction science and management, Kansas City, Kansas, received tilt-up concrete technician certification following completion of coursework and passing an exam administered by the American Concrete Institute, according to a K-State news release.

The two students are from the G.E. Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at K-State’s Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Students earned the certification by demonstrating an understanding of safety, plan reading, scheduling, site preparation and foundations, slabs on grade, layout, forming, concrete properties and placement, erection and structural systems for producing tilt-up projects.

Tilt-up is a construction technique for casting concrete elements in a horizontal position at the job site and then tilting them to their final position in a structure.

The group of students completing the exam took the course Tilt-up Concrete Construction, which was developed and taught by Kimberly Waggle Kramer, professor and G.E. Johnson construction science chair in architectural engineering and construction science.

“Construction companies performing this type of construction are required to have a certified technician on the job,” Kramer said. “K-State has helped to triple the number of technicians in Kansas throughout the last several years, as well as helped to certify the first two female tilt-up concrete technicians in the nation. This year, 18% of the students are female, while according to the National Association of Women in Construction, women working in the construction industry numbered 1.5% of the entire U.S. workforce.”

In 17 years, more than 450 students have taken Kramer’s course and nearly all of them have become certified as tilt-up technicians with a 99.8% pass rate.

KCKPS cancels classes Tuesday and Wednesday because of illness

The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools have announced that classes will be canceled on Tuesday, Jan. 18, and Wednesday, Jan. 19, because of a high number of staff absences caused by COVID-19 and other illnesses.

According to the announcement, the school district had more than 200 teaching positions unfilled last Friday, requiring district staff to fill the vacancies.

The district already was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17, so a long five-day closure should give staff who are sick the time they need to recover, according to the announcement.

All district buildings will be closed Jan. 18 and 19, according to the announcement made on the district’s social media.

According to the announcement, the closure also includes cancellation of the before-and-after school child care program and KidZone.

The district will offer curbside meals on Jan. 18 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Banneker Elementary School, Eisenhower Middle School, Carl B. Bruce Middle School, Rosedale Middle School, Schlagle High School and Harmon High School. Families do not need to pre-register to pick up meals.

The closure does not include the KCKPS Central Office and the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Libraries. These locations are expected to be open during their regular business hours, according to the announcement.

The decision to cancel school on Tuesday and Wednesday was a difficult one and was not taken lightly, the announcement stated. The closure allows staff who are ill enough time to recover and return to work after being quarantined, according to the announcement. Students and staff are expected to return on Thursday, Jan. 20.

For more information, see