CCAISD votes to proceed with new gym

By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD Board of Trustees met with HB Construction (HBC) and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper (PSC) to approve an amendment to the Construction Manager At-Risk Contract. The Trustees approved Construction Package No. III for the final phase of the K-12 Campus construction project for a total maximum cost of $22,824,811.00 to include the cost of the removal of the VHHS gym to be replaced by a new auxiliary gym.  [See article on CCAISD Community Meeting] Package No. I was the site demolition, and Package No. II was the earthwork, site utilities and structural steel.  The estimate for the new auxiliary gym was just under $1.5 million compared to almost $1.8 million to reinforce the structural deficiencies and complete the original upgrades to the original gym.  In order to be able to replace the gym, all of the alternate bids were removed from consideration.  The alternates, to be considered if funds were remaining, included such items as concrete paving instead of asphalt, an outdoor play court, motorized shades on the library windows, and shades on the playground.

Board members discussed salvaging components of the VHHS gym such as the flooring and bricks.  HBC indicated their willingness to work to salvage as much as possible to either be used in the new space or to sell as fundraisers for the students. Now that the trustees have approved the new gym, PSC will finalize the design.

The CCAISD Trustees conducted an hour long executive session, after which, through a series of five separate motions, ultimately voided the contract with Chief Financial Officer Julie Uranga and terminated her employment effective immediately.  It was noted that this dismissal is not subject to appeal. Details regarding the dismissal were not released. However, on July 17, 2017, the Board had previously voted to deny the claim of discrimination and retaliation filed by CCAISD’s Chief Financial Officer Julie Uranga against the District based on CCAISD’s investigation of the complaint and advice of legal counsel.

The Board reviewed the proposed 2017-2018 budget summary and 2017 tax rates.  Supt. Dalia Benavidez reported that the tax recapture funds paid to the state would increase to $7.9 million up from $5 million last year. However, even with this increase, the proposed budget is balanced and allocates $1.5 million to replenish the reserve accounts. Benavidez is recommending that the CCAISD adopt a tax rate of $1.04/$100 M&O and $.46/$100 Debt Service which is the same rate as 2016.  She noted that with the high taxable value in the District this year, keeping the debt service at $.46/$100 would allow the District to pay $6 million toward the principal and interest on the bonds in 2017-2018. The tax rate and budget are scheduled to be adopted August 28, 2017.

In other business, the CCAISD Board members:

• Approved a contract for materials testing for $102,139 for the construction project.

• Accepted proposal for code plan review and inspection services for $34,350.

• Approved a perpetual electrical easement with El Paso Electric for underground service to the new campus.

• Approved the 2017-2018 Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook.

• Awarded the 2017-2018 fuel bids to Van Horn Oil and Propane.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here