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SISD board members approved several underwriters for their 2011 sale of bonds. The board made the decision to act swiftly on the sale of the bonds because market conditions and interest rates have been favorable. Time constraints were also an issue since the school wants the new high school ready for the 2014-2015 school year.
Underwriters approved were RBC Capital Markets, Edward Jones, Stephens, Raymond James, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., Crews & Associates, Inc. and First Southwest.
An item discussed in April was brought back to board members. The item concerned an energy grant the school district received through the State Energy Conservation Office for a Solar PV Project. Originally, plans were to place about 714 solar panel modules on the Sharyland High School roof. School board members did not take action on the item because they were concerned about the warranty on the SHS roof and how long it would take for the district to be reimbursed for their part of the project.
The item was brought back this week but putting the solar panels in a different location. The board agreed to go forward with the project by placing it at Sharyland North Junior High School, behind the gymnasium, along Taylor Road. The solar modules will take up about a quarter of an acre. It will be fenced in with a plastic chain length fence and include landscaping around the fence.
The grant from the state is for up to $1 million. The district will be contributing $180,000 for the project. Following current electricity usage numbers, the district would be paid back that amount in a little over four years.
School board members also discussed the Bridge Program evaluation criteria. The Bridge Program is a program designed to help secondary students with substance abuse. It includes counseling and community service. The program has been in full implementation since the start of the school year.
Although only four students have been involved with the program, others have been asked to participate. Two students have completed the program. The program is designed to help students with substance abuse gain more self-respect, achieve better grades, and stay out of the juvenile system.
Surveys are given to students completing the program. Parents are also asked to fill out a service on how the program has benefitted them and their child.
With state budget cuts, the district was not planning for the high school to get allotment money this year, but did, in fact, receive $775, 076. The administrative team from the high school made a prioritized list for the use of the money, which the board approved.
The allotments included money for staff development, Computers on Wheels that will allow students to access software in the classroom and provide the opportunity to test all students on end of course exams online, SAT/ACT Preparatory Courses, calculators, dictionaries, science materials, incentives, and other items that would prepare students for rigor.
The leftover balance might be used to a pre-engineering academy. The school board and administrative team will discuss that more in the future.
Other items discussed included the expenditure for the resurfacing of the SISD track which will cost the district $107,787 and should last the school district another four to six years. The company that originally placed the track nearly six years ago, Hella’s, will be the company resurfacing the track and other areas that have the same surface.
Meca Sportswear, Inc. was awarded the contract for letterman jackets at a cost of $45.50 per jacket. The district has been using the company for a couple of years. A lower bid had a different style of jacket that the board was uncomfortable with.
The board also approved construction of a track at Jessie Jensen Elementary. The school will be able to pitch in approximately $15,000 for the project. The project will cost the district nearly $70,000.
The board approved up to $150,000 for expenditures that will be incurred prior to the bond sales. The money will come out of local funds right now, but will be reimbursed once the sale of the bonds goes through. The money will be used for architect and engineer costs associated with design and schematic drawing and other costs incurred with getting construction contracts awarded.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.