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School construction scheduled
to start in mid-November

by Dolores Hamilton
If everything goes as planned, construction should begin in mid-November on renovations to the athletic complex and high school.

On Thursday night, Troy Secord, with Secord and Lebow Architects, met with the Iowa Park School Board to go over the timeline for the renovations.

At the beginning of the meeting, approval of the Architect Contract with Secord and Lebow was tabled in order to make some minor revisions. Secord suggested that they meet Monday to work out the changes and the trustees authorized Superintendent Jerry Baird to represent them as their agent and finalize the contract. Cornerstone Engineering of Wichita Falls was awarded the Surveyor Contract.

The board approved advertising for a construction manager and anticipate having the selection made by the middle of July.

Discussing the construction timeline, Secord said the field house and concession stand would be the first projects to get underway. He said they were chosen because they don’t interfere with any sports activities that can’t be redirected. “If everything goes as scheduled, we’re looking at actually turning dirt by the middle of November,” he said.

Secord added that work on the athletic complex will be broken up into two parts, between football and baseball. They will work around the start and finish dates of their respective seasons. Renovation to the exterior of the high school auditorium is scheduled to begin in May. “We should be pretty well finished with all projects by December, 2013,” he said.

July 31 was set as the anchor day for the sale of bonds, and the trustees will meet at noon on Aug. 1 to vote and sign papers.

Other action taken by the trustees included:
Approval of Update 94;
Approval of Professional Development and Appraisal System calendar for 2012-2013; and
Approval of fundraisers by cheerleaders and members of National Honor Society.

Baird reported on the 2011-2012 Preliminary TAKS/EOC results. “We don’t know what the acceptability standards are going to be, and probably will not know until next November,” he said. “But what we do know is that at our high school we exceeded the region and state averages. We did very well.”

Steve Moody, assistant superintendent, said the elementary standards haven’t been set by the state yet, but the scores at Bradford and the middle school appear to be higher than other schools our size in the region. “We’re pretty much above the state average in all areas,” he said.

Moody said the freshman class did very well in the first year of End of Course testing. “The scores were pretty well above the state in all areas,” he said. “We are very proud of our freshmen.

A hearing was held on the Federal Title Program Funding and Budgeting for 2012-2013.

Baird said at this time they are being told to expect a 10 percent cut in funding. The money is spent on each campus for teacher aides, to help fund additional teachers needed to maintain a lower teacher/student ratio, and special education classroom aides.

In other business, Jeff Rhoades was appointed delegate to the TASB Conference in September.

Reporting the progress in summer maintenance, Baird told the board members, “We’re off to a good start.” He said the trustees from Allred are helping again this summer,and have torn out the old lockers in the gym as part of the renovation. Also, custodians on the different campuses have started on the cleaning and maintenance work.

After meeting in executive session, trustees took the following action:
New Employees - Clifton McFadden, P.E. aide at Bradford; Julianne Swedberg, special education teacher at Bradford; Lindsey McShann, second grade teacher at Kidwell; Tricia Lipps, pre-kindergarten teacher at kidwell; and Carmen Davis, first grade teacher at Kidwell.

Transfers - Monica Huchton, P.E. aide at Bradford, hired as a third grade teacher at Bradford; Gretchen Davis, Bradford cafeteria worker, elevated to the position of cafeteria manager; Louella Enos, Kidwell cafeteria worker, promoted to cafeteria manager.

Trustees also accepted the resignation of Mary Ress from her teaching position at Iowa Park High School. She is planning to retire.