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MCISD moves forward with high school, junior high renovations

20130913 MJH-cement-photos AF  1341 FEATUREMISSION—Mission CISD trustees agreed to move forward with improvements to both Mission High and Mission Junior High schools at a meeting last week.

Mission Consolidated Independent School District will issue requests for qualifications for renovations at the two schools.

Mission High School

The high school’s construction budget is $18.2 million. Renovations for the campus have been delayed for almost five years, said Rick Rivera, executive director of facilities/maintenance/construction, and prices have risen in that time.

The chiller system alone would be $8.8 million, Rivera explained at the September MCISD facilities committee meeting during discussions with ERO architects and the superintendent over the project.

“When we initially started discussion of the (MHS) Phase III project, a chiller system was approximately $6 million and in time the approximate cost is now $8.8 million,” Rivera said. “We want to advertise for RFQs for an independent assessment of the MHS phase III project, to see if there are other options that we can use instead of the complete chiller system.”

Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said there are issues with having one chiller system for an entire campus. If it breaks down, the whole school would lose cool air or levels of cooling would be off depending where the chiller is placed, he said.

Committee member Julian Gonzalez said he would never advocate having one system for a campus, so he supports the decision from Lopez and Rivera.

According to Rivera, administration suggested bringing in a second expert for an independent and professional assessment of the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) for this project.

Mission Junior High

Newly appointed Mission Junior High Principal Ada Castillo presented to the facilities committee photos of her campus in its current state. Staff members have complained about the size of the cafeteria and the size of the stage inside for One Act Play competition.

“The cafeteria leaves a lot to be desired, I believe that it was built in 1999, as I conducted a little research,” Castillo said. “It was also brought to my attention, not only do we have a small cafeteria, but our stage is equally as small.”

Castillo said consecutively, for the last seven years, the drama club from MJH has placed first in their competitions despite the inadequacy of the stage in comparison to other junior high schools in MCISD.

The principal also had complaints from parents because of the lack of covered walkways and canopies on campus. Castillo said students have to sit in the sun while being picked up after school, and are subject to rain when walking from classroom to classroom.

The principal said she understands if there are no funds to create a new cafeteria, but she hopes there are funds to possibly remodel the existing structure. She added the staff at her campus would fundraise for the needed additions, though it may take some extra time to reach their goals.

The board approved advertising for an architect to renovate the junior high kitchen and dining area and an architect/engineer for the construction of the canopies.

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