Campus News

Trustees sue Andover following expansion headaches 

Caelin Bragg 

Butler Lantern

The Butler Community College Board of Trustees have issued a lawsuit against the City of Andover because of the city’s demands for payment of infrastructure improvements at the 5000 building before the college is allowed to expand its campus. 

The petition from Butler, filed on Thursday, May 16 by Ray Connell, of the El Dorado law firm Connell & Connell, states that Andover has only approved for interior construction to the existing 5000 building and will not allow construction of the new facilities and manufacturing building until the college agrees to help pay for road improvements around the 5000 building. Butler wishes for the court to allow it to construct the building without needing to pay Andover’s requirements. 

“Current traffic studies do not indicate that these roads are necessary at this time,” Butler said in a statement. “The College has stated it is willing to pay a fair share of the road construction costs when a traffic study justifies the need to complete the roadways. However, the City has indicated that the College must commit to payment agreements and road construction plans now, or it will not approve all the required building permits for the necessary consolidation and renovation.” 

Butler has been attempting to expand its 5000 building to accommodate classrooms it will be losing from the 6000 building after its lease with Andover High School expires. Butler and Andover’s City Council were in a heated back and forth after the City’s Mayor Ben Lawrence vetoed Butler’s acquisition of new land on two occasions before being overruled by the council. By that time, Butler decided to go with their backup plan and build on their existing land. 

Superintendent of Andover Public Schools Brett White provided a statement for the lawsuit and said any continued delays for Butler that would result in the college staying in the high school past the planned deadline of the summer of 2020 could result in costs of up to $500,000 for the district depending on how they will resolve the issue. 

Andover did not wish to comment at press time as City Administrator Mark Detter said they do not comment on ongoing litigations. According to the Butler County Watchdog, the Andover City Council voted to hire the Wichita law firm Triplett Woolf Garretson, LLC to represent the city in the lawsuit. 

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