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The buildings are substantially complete, only waiting for the fire marshal to view the sites before allowing them to enter.
Superintendent Alda T. Benavides said having the new Child Nutrition Services building would keep material organized.
The training room will give employees the opportunity to do their training onsite, instead of needing to conduct a Saturday training or holding a training at a school.
The police station is a breath of fresh air for Chief Raul Gonzalez who was the sole employee in 2001; the Police Department has grown to 44 police officers.
“With growth, we needed a bigger building,” said Gonzalez. “This will help us.”
The new building will help the department keep track with the technology they have in place and be able to expand on security efforts with video monitoring.
“We will be able to monitor the whole school district from this building,” Gonzalez said.
LJISD will still continue their relationships with other law enforcement to help with investigations and if they need to transport a student to county or a city jail.
Gonzalez said when they detain someone, they make an effort to get the student before a judge as soon as possible so they can go back to school. If they do have to hold someone for a while, they have the facilities to do that in the new building. They will also be able to keep individuals separated during questioning and investigating process.
The new Child Nutrition building, which cost $6.75 million, is just over 30,000 square feet. The building houses food storage areas, administration offices and training areas. There is a bulk freezer, bulk cooler and thaw cooler space with shelving and storage racks close to a shipping and receiving area with a full loading dock. Adjustable loading docks can unload large semi trucks, panel trucks and vans. There is also climate controlled bulk dry storage area equipped with storage racks.
A 1,200-square-foot catering kitchen with storage areas will serve the district’s catering needs. A training room has space to seat 44 people in a small conference setting, or 92 people for larger training classes. The training area will also have pull down screens and computers to be used for testing. The training area also has a training kitchen that will be used for new employees or to test and showcase new food items the district is considering using in menus.
The 9,026-square-foot police station includes dispatch, office space and work areas for the police chief, lieutenants and police investigators for the City of La Joya that service the district. The building also has holding rooms, booking and evidence storage areas. The building has an area that can seat up to 80 people for training.
The Police Department facility cost the district slightly under $2 million.
The buildings feature cost-saving features like special lighting and lights that are only on when there are people in the room. The buildings also have break rooms for the employees and secure access to certain areas.
The board approved to provide a letter of support to the City of Palmview for a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. If they receive the grant, the City of Palmview will use the money to construct an outdoor recreational park for the community utilizing district property that is adjoining the new fire substation on Showers Road.
The board also approved summer curriculum and instruction projects to give teachers time to ensure curriculum areas are aligned with federal and state mandates, state standards, STAAR testing and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The summer projects will let teachers create specialized curriculum for weekly lessons and assessments for their classes incorporating newly-adopted TEKS into the lessons and upgrading and revising curriculum where needed.
The total cost of the projects is $400,450.
The Dropout Prevention Department received approval to hire a social worker, an attendance clerk and a truant officer for each high school. The program is a total of 10 days, five days extended at the end of the school year and five additional days at the beginning of next school year. An attendance clerk will be used during the Lone Star Operation, July 29 through August 2, to enter immunization records for students that take advantage of the program.
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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.