Members of the Houston board of education will interview architects as its next regular meeting as it looks at several capital improvements.

The district sought proposals in March for architectural and engineering firms as it charts a plan to make facility enhancements.

Those interviews with firms will occur prior to the Aug. 9 meeting. The discussion came Tuesday during a short monthly meeting that saw Dr. Justin Copley, superintendent,  lead his first board meeting following assuming duties July 1.

Over the last several months, the board has discussed:

•New facilities as part of a Phase 2 bond issue at some point — which would join the middle school and new gymnasium that was completed last fall.

•Work at the Piney River Technical Center that is situated between Spruce and Walnut streets.

•Houston Middle School renovations. New windows have been installed. Work at the fine arts building also is being studied.

•Continued improvements at the newly formed Early Childhood Center (old vocational building).

•Work at a commercial building at First and Steffens streets.

In other matters, members:

•Set the annual property tax rate hearing for 5:25 p.m. Aug. 9.

•Approved all handbooks for the upcoming year.

•Increased the mileage reimbursement rate from 40 cents to 50 cents per mile.

•Decided to have a special board work session beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 26.

The next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Aug. 9 in the high school library.

In other board report items:

•It is taking bids and developing a plan to remove the dilapidated house and shed on the west side of the high school.

•The district will continue to discuss plans for the track. It had been hoped the district would be awarded a grant, but did not receive it this cycle.

•Discussed legislative updates.

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