CISD celebrates $3,371,300 grant
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The Crockett ISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Douglas Moore were in good spirits during the Monday, Nov. 28 board meeting.One cause for celebration was the Saturday, Nov. 26 football play-off win (55-21) of the Crockett High School Bulldogs over Harmony High School. The second cause for celebration was the news that CISD won its bid for a safe room/shelter grant which will enable the district to build a domed multi-purpose facility. The $3,371,300 award previously was reported at a Crockett City Council meeting and a Houston County Commissioners Court meeting, but Monday was the first time the CISD board has met since Superintendent Dr. Douglas Moore received the Phase 2 award letter from FEMA.The facility, which will house a new gymnasium, will be named in honor of retired CHS Coach Andrew J. Hopkins.Moore said there will be a formal dedication ceremony on Friday, Jan. 20, but the board took the opportunity Monday to pose with Hopkins, along with an enlarged replica of the U. S. Treasury check the district received.In business associated with the shelter grant, the board unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Houston County. The Houston County Commissioners Court previously approved the MOU, agreeing to provide “in-kind” services toward CISD’s required local match for the grant.The authorized services include excavation, site work, supply of fill materials, and other services the county may provide at the discretion of the road and bridge precinct commissioner. The district is located in Road and Bridge Precinct 2.Trustee Dr. John Garner stated the MOU “is a very generous gesture on the county’s part . . .we do thank them . . . and look forward to working together on this project.”Garner said further he appreciates all the work that went into getting the grant, and reminded everyone it is not “free money”. Garner said any patron in the CISD who has paid federal taxes has contributed to the building. “It’s being paid for by people throughout the United States,” Garner said.Another item of business related to the project concerned a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified firms for construction of the new 27,000 square foot multi-purpose facility.The board unanimously granted approval to solicit the RFPs. The district will advertise in local newspapers for two weeks. After obtaining the proposals, the board will take action to select a firm.Additionally, the board unanimously granted Moore the authority to negotiate a contract with an architect for the multi-purpose facility. Moore explained there are a select few architects in the nation with the expertise and experience in designing/constructing a structure like the one Crockett is undertaking.In other business, the board considered two local bids for the district’s HVAC Retrofit System, to be funded by the Cool School Grant announced at the October meeting. The trustees approved the low bid submitted by Hargrove-Neel Refrigeration in Crockett. Board Vice President Deborah Kennedy abstained from the vote. All other trustees voted to approve the bid. Hargrove-Neel Refrigeration bid $499,750. Maxwell and Company submitted a bid of $658,875. The project is to be substanially completed by April 21.In the future, the district will advertise for bids for the old HVAC equipment that will be removed.Additional business included the unanimous approval of a resolution and ordinance relating to approval of taxation of goods-in-transit. Also approved was a surplus property list for disposal. Moore said the list included obsolete vehicles in need of repair.The board also heard presentations from two law firms that would like to have the district’s business. Kennedy made a motion to contract with Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C., but that motion failed for lack of a second. The board then voted to table their decision until the next meeting because some board members desired more time to investigate the two firms. The other firm being considered is Powell and Leon, LLP. Kennedy was the sole vote against tabling the decision, stating the trustees have had the RFPs from the firms for two or three months.Further business included unanimous approval of the most recent legal updates from the Texas Association of School Boards. TASB produces the updates in response to legislation passed by the 82nd Legislative Session.One of the updates addresses the new requirement for the district to appoint a Concussion Oversight Team that includes one or more of the following: an athletic trainer, advanced practice nurse, neuropsychologist or physician assistant. If the district employs an athletic trainer, the trainer must be on the team. Each member of the team must have training on concussions at the time of appointment and every two years.There also are new requirements regarding football helmet maintenance and replacement.Before the meeting concluded, Moore provided an update on the CISD local grant program. The district has applied for $9,798,332 in grants, and received $7,114,331 in 2011. Earlier in the meeting, the board unanimously accepted a $1,000 donation from the Polk Oil Company which will be split between Crockett Junior High and Crockett High School for instructional supplies.Further action by the board involved unanimously voting to move the December meeting to Monday, Dec. 12 and the January meeting to Monday, Jan. 23.