Trustees award $1.8 million contract for parking lot improvements

Schematics drafted by Hellas Construction show plans for improved parking lots & drainage renovations.
Schematics drafted by Hellas Construction show plans for improved parking lots & drainage renovations.

Raises for staff & superintendent OK’d

By Becky Brewster

The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD Board of Trustees met in Regular Session on September 21, 2020. In keeping with the mandates from the state and federal government concerning social distancing, the Board met through video-conferencing.

The Board reviewed plans presented by Hellas for the next phase of the school construction projects. This phase will encompass parking lot and drainage improvements. This project will include paving of the parking lots around the auditorium, teacher parking on the north side of the school, and parking on both sides of Fannin Street to service the gym. Sidewalks will extend down both sides of West Seventh Street from Houston Street to Fannin Street, then continue along the north side of West Seventh connecting to the athletic complex area. Drainage improvements will be made on the south side of West Seventh Street. After review of the design, the Board approved the contract with Hellas for $1,865,710.00, noting that the project should take about four months to complete if weather or COVID-19 doesn’t play havoc with the construction schedule.

Trustees reviewed proposed pay rate charts distributing the approximately $100,000 allocated for raises in the FY 2020-2021 budget evenly across all positions. Baugh presented various charts showing salaries and stipends for all departments. With the $1200/year increase on all steps of the teacher’s salary schedule, the district pays well above the required base pay mandated by the State. For example, the 2021 State base for a beginning teacher is $33,660; with the increase, the District base pay is $40,277.47 for a beginning teacher. The District also provides a wide variety of athletic and academic stipends to supplement the teacher’s salaries for extra responsibilities. Baugh also presented pay schedules for administrative pay, director pay, and auxiliary positions. He noted that the District averages 12.8% above the State base for basic teacher salaries, but averages 19.45% above the State base when including the academic stipends. The Board unanimously approved the pay rate schedules as presented.

After a short executive session, the Board also approved an increase for the Superintendent contract to $127,000/year. This action was postponed from March due to the uncertainties arising from the impact of COVID-19. Baugh also delayed requesting action on his salary until the final enrollment figures were in for the 2020-2021 school year since enrollment impacts state funding. He noted that current enrollment is at 375 which is just shy of the 383 students at the end of the prior school year. Baugh presented a summary of all the grant programs for the District, and a recap of the bond funds. He noted that he anticipates an additional $12 million in the debt service fund which can be used for additional capital improvements projects if the voters approve it. The tax rate has decreased 23.81% over the last few years.

In other business, the CCAISD Board members:

Approved the 4th quarter investment report, noting that the interest rate has dipped below 1%.

Approved the County Extension Students Attendance Resolution.

Heard reports from the Athletic Director and the Principal.

Received a report on the investment account for the Van Horn Education Foundation.

Discussed Board training.

Set the next meeting date for Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 6 p.m.