Houston Schools

The Houston school board opened Tuesday’s monthly meeting in closed session as the district attempts to resolve a situation that has delayed the beginning of new construction on campus.

Superintendent Scott Dill said there was little he could say –– based on legal counsel –– about the matter. The closed minutes of the meeting said “the board consulted with legal counsel regarding ongoing contract negotiations related to the current building project.”

“We’re trying to resolve a situation so we can move our project forward,” Dill said. 

The board has worked with Sapp Design Associates Architects P.C., a Springfield architectural firm.

In April, voters overwhelmingly approved a $4 million bond issue that included an expanded cafeteria, new library, roof repairs, adding air conditioning to Hiett Gymnasium and connecting the current middle and high school buildings.

Although the legal situation has delayed new construction, other projects are underway on campus.

The installation of four 11-ton heating and cooling units as well as temperature controls and lighting upgrades –– ones that are brighter and strike quicker –– recently began inside the gymnasium. Dill said ductwork is being installed, and the units will arrive the first week of July. He anticipates the entire project will be completed within the month.

As part of the project, CTS Group is also installing security doors in the elementary and high school for deliveries.

Progress also continues on the district’s new 100×80 storage facility in the open lot behind the middle school gym. The building will consolidate the district’s equipment and include office space for the head custodian and technology director.

Also during the meeting, school board members:

––Accepted bids for propane (Rees Oil), paper (Sam’s Club), pest control (Stallcup) and dairy products (Top Gun) for the 2013-’14 school year. Bids for bread products were tabled until the July meeting.

––Employed Lindsey Barnes (speech/drama), Kelsen Gilbert (technology), Tim Davidson (assistant middle school boys’ basketball coach), Destiny Wilson (middle school math) and Rob Coffey (head high school boys’ basketball coach) for the 2013-’14 school year.

––Accepted the resignations of Craig Hurst (high school English), Michelle Brinkley (family and consumer science), Kimberley Freeman (speech language pathologist) and Julia Johnson (elementary special education). Freeman and Johnson were charged $1,000 for breaking their contacts after June 1.

––Approved a five-cent increase for full-priced meals next school year. Student lunches will cost $1.65 and adults will pay $190. Breakfasts are $1.10 for students and $1.25 for adults.

––Did not receive a bid on the building trades house. The minimum bid for the property, located at 509 Primrose, was $221,000.

––Heard information provided by the City of Houston regarding the potential acquisition of property.

The board will meet for a special budget session Tuesday, June 25, at the superintendent’s office. The next monthly meeting was moved back two days to Thursday, July 11.

PDF: Closed minutes from the June school board meeting

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