By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD Board of Trustees met with Hector de Santiago of Parkhill, Smith and Cooper (PSC) to consider extensive revisions to the floor plan, elevations and site plan for the new K-12 Campus. The pricing for the initially approved plan came in at more than $5,000,000 over the construction budget, so PSC, HB Construction, and the District Committee have been meeting to determine what aspects of the design could be changed to lower the cost.   The PSC presentation outlined the factors that led to the project being over budget such as the market activity in El Paso, subcontractor interest (or lack thereof), location, tennis courts and renovation cost.

Trustee Rocio Apgar was quick to question the changes stating that the District “does not need to go from one ‘scrunched’ school to another.” De Santiago reassured the Board that the primary goal in reducing the budget was to ensure that there would be no changes to the instructional square footage. PCS outlined the following steps that were included in the attempt to get the project within budget:

• PSC developed revised floor plans

• Preserved program spaces for school

• Maintained existing tennis courts

• Compact floor plan layout

• Square up the building (reduce outer wall space)

• Brick up to 7’4”

• Reduce circulation space

• Stacking spaces – essentially use second floor more

• Demolish old high school portion vs renovate for administration

• District Administration to move to existing board room building

• Reduce number of parking stalls

• Incorporated Distance Learning and Technology space in the new school

• HB Construction garnered more subcontract interest from other cities.

Essentially, the floor plan for each instructional area will remain close to the original design as will the new gym and the renovations to the old gym.  The most drastic change is the demolition of the entire old high school rather than renovating a portion of it for the District administrative offices. The possible high school demolition was a bone of contention among some alumni during the bond election process but now it looks like it is going to happen anyway. The administrative staff will ultimately be housed in the old administration building on Fannin Street. Another major change is keeping the existing tennis courts as they are and redesigning the site plan to incorporate the tennis courts.

The Trustees approved the conceptual layout of the floor plan so the design team could proceed with the design process. There are still issues with the site plan concerning the playground, playcourt and parking that have to be addressed.  PSC will continue the design meetings and intend to bring a more detailed plan to the Board in about two weeks.

The Board also approved the CCAISD Calendar for the 2017-2018 school year.  The first day of school for students will be August 28, 2017.  Graduation is scheduled for May 25, 2018.

After a short executive session, the Board renewed the administrator contracts for Keith Reyes, Kittie Gibson, Brian Gibson, and Sondra McCoy. Teacher contracts will be presented in March.

In other business, the CCAISD Board members:

• Approved the purchase of a Toro Reel Master Mower for the baseball field.

• Approved the ERate Cycle 20 for 2017-2018.

• Heard an update on the Targeted Improvement Plan.

• Extended the Depository Contract with Pecos County State Bank.

• Approved the CCAISD Budget Timeline for 2017-2018.

• Renewed the TIPS Interlocal Agreement for cooperative purchasing with Region 8 to be used primarily for food.

• Reviewed the financial reports for January 2017.