Category Archives: Schools

You don’t say

“I’ll play a lot of solitaire. Read a good book.”

– Wichita superintendent John Allison, joking about his plans for this week, the first week back to school

You don’t say

“I can ask for no more, although I wish I had a girlfriend.”

Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School salutatorian Joseph Duong in remarks at the school’s graduation on Sunday

You don’t say

“You would have to work pretty hard to convince me of that.”

– Rep. Mike Pompeo, who visited a Maize Elementary School third grade class Thursday and asked for ideas for new laws, which prompted one student to say, “No ice cream!”

You don’t say

“The first things I thought about were what it would do for our budget and all the camera equipment we could buy. The first thing my students thought was a pizza party.”

Maize High School journalism teacher Dan Loving on a Wichita bank accidentally sending a more than $20,000 check to his students’ magazine

You don’t say

“The same thing that happened to the Obamacare site happened to us today.”

College Hill Elementary fourth-grader Judah Hansen explaining to his parents about computer glitches with state testing

Lou Robelli starts demolition of former Riverview Elementary School

WICHITA — When Lou Robelli purchased the former Riverview Elementary School near 53rd Street North and Seneca several years ago, his intent wasn’t to eventually tear it down. That’s what’s happening now, though.

“It hasn’t been a good investment,” Robelli says.

He’d hoped to convert the school into senior housing, but the building deteriorated due to vandalism.

Vandals stripped the building of its wiring and regularly broke windows, Robelli says.

“Refurbishing was impossible.”

Robelli says the “biggest mistake I made” was not taking the school district up on its offer of alarm services for a small monthly fee.

He says he may still build housing there or elsewhere, but he’s not sure yet.

“I’ve got other things on my plate right now,” says Robelli, who owns Air Capitol Delivery & Warehouse. “It’s really not a priority.”

So why raze the building now?

“Because the city’s on my butt.”

You don’t say

“There’s no one more despised than myself whenever we’re facing snow.”

– March 4 downtown Rotary Club speaker and Wichita Superintendent John Allison, who made some parents scramble for child-care arrangements with four recent snow days (although he failed to note how happy he made most kids)

S&P Sports Complex grows from practice facility to multifaceted business

WICHITA — Auctioneer Bud Palmer’s hard-earned reputation as a curmudgeon is in jeopardy.

He and his daughter Shannon St. Vrain’s year-old S&P Sports Complex near 35th Street North and St. Francis is morphing into a multifaceted business, but that means word is going to get out why Palmer owns the building.

“The whole reason he got it was for the grandkids,” St. Vrain says of her six children, ages 2 to 12.

She says Palmer is too emotional to even discuss that part of it. She says she often bugged her father about helping transport her kids to practices, and she often lamented that there weren’t more places for them to practice and play.

“It’s hard to get schools because the school teams have priority first,” St. Vrain says. “We were practicing all over.”

Palmer was driving when he saw that a 1900s school at 3601 N. St. Francis was for sale.

“I just … called my broker and said, ‘Get it bought,’” he says.

His grandchildren were less than impressed since the school – which had a mid-century expansion to a sprawling 35,000 square feet – also had been a Salvation Army homeless shelter and then went unused for years. It was a mess.

“Grandpa said it was nice,” St. Vrain quotes her children, who were concerned upon seeing it.

“Grandpa has a vision,” she told them.

Palmer purchased the former Shocker basketball floor from the Kansas Coliseum and installed it in the school’s former gym.

Then, as he was cleaning, he discovered a second gym and bought the former St. Mary Cathedral gym floor and installed it.

“Well, everybody will rent it,’” Palmer assured his daughter.

That’s what’s happening.

They’ve created two indoor batting areas, and the spaces – along with the gyms – are open daily for teams to use. There’s volleyball, dodgeball, indoor soccer and homeschooling PE classes there. There’s interest from at least one Zumba class and a tae kwon do tournament for this summer.

Palmer also started holding auctions there. There are regular charity book sales. Now, St. Vrain also is renting the space for parties.

So far, it’s “just kind of word-of-mouth” renting, she says.

Now, photographer Pete Iseman is moving part of his business to the complex.

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Christ the Savior Academy to open in fall at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral

UPDATED — It was 17 years ago that St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral broke ground on an educational wing just west of 13th and Rock Road, but the timing wasn’t right to start a school.

It is now.

Christ the Savior Academy will open in the fall for the new school year.

“Now, everything has come together,” says Jennifer Sebits, president of the board. “This is a project of the entire Orthodox community in Wichita.”

That includes St. George, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Christian Church and St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church.

“We believe that it’s important to educate the whole child – so mind, body and soul,” Sebits says. “We think that children are spiritual beings and their soul needs to be nurtured as well.”

Sebits says Christ the Savior will offer a classical education, which emphasizes education in three parts.

Initially, there’s a grammar stage in which there’s a lot of memorization.

Next is a logic stage where children begin to learn and ask questions about a lot of the facts that they’ve earlier memorized.

Finally, there’s a rhetoric stage where children put what they’ve learned into spoken and written form.

Students will learn Greek and Latin starting in first grade. Sebits says classical schooling also means students often study from original sources instead of text books.

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Developer Marv Schellenberg purchases 36 acres of Maize Road frontage from USD 266

WICHITA — The Maize school district this week approved the sale of more than 36 acres of school property to developer Marv Schellenberg.

The property, which is part of 280 acres the district purchased more than a decade ago, fronts Maize Road south of Menards down to about 34th Street by the entrance to Schellenberg’s Fox Ridge residential development.

“When we originally bought the land, it was always our intent to sell the frontage property,” says Karen McDermott, communications director for Maize USD 266.

The district built three schools on the property, which also has ball fields, but McDermott says the district didn’t want to build anything close to Maize Road.

The property has been on the market for about four years.

The sale price had been $1.8 million, but Schellenberg countered with $1.4 million to offset the cost of some dirt work he needs to meet drainage requirements.

About 25 acres of the 36 acres Schellenberg purchased are usable for development. He’ll use the rest for retention.

Schellenberg, who didn’t return calls for comment, has applied for limited commercial zoning for future commercial development.