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Hawkins ISD Board of Trustees

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Frustration expressed on progress of construction and renovation program
By JOHN SPARKS

"We are behind and we are concerned."

That statement by Dan Rose, Superintendent of HISD sums up an hour long discussion with architect Brice Davis concerning the missed deadlines and ever-extended final delivery schedule on numerous elements of the construction and renovation program which has been underway for 15 months.

Meeting in regular session Monday, April 7, trustees of the Hawkins Independent School District reviewed a long list of new facilities that have not been completed and delivered on time by WRL contractors. Rose suggested that there had been five construction superintendents in charge of the project over its 15-month history. Davis said the rainy weather was responsible for some of the delays-especially early on, but he said the reality of the construction industry right now is lack of skilled labor in the crews of various sub-contractors. Frustrated to hold someone accountable, trustees finally asked Davis to make arrangements for an official from WRL to appear at the next board meeting Monday, May 5 so that their questions can be asked directly of the contractor.

Trustees did approve payment of work to replace wiring in the administrative areas of the high school and junior high school. This was a project that was added after removal of ceilings revealed electrical wiring and conduit that was not up to code and had to be replaced. The cost was $9,181.45.

Trustees heard reports from six students who were part of the HISD delegation to this year's Model UN. The Hawkins students presented resolutions on obesity, child abuse, de-forestation and racism.

The board also approved the hiring of two new staff members: David Hall, a math teacher and Niki Whitener, athletic trainer. Trustees also accepted the resignation of Karen Langford who had served as a special education teacher at the elementary school.

Business Manager Robert Fair advised the board of a possible budgetary problem related to the cost of diesel fuel for the district's bus fleet. "There is speculation that diesel fuel may reach $3.75 per gallon later on this year," Fair said, "which could require a budget amendment to cover a budget shortfall of $18,000 to keep the fleet running." Fair also reported net proceeds of $6,031 on the sale of surplus kitchen equipment by the district to Stanley Richard.

The City of Hawkins accepted the district's offer of surplus playground equipment, two adjustable basketball goals and two basketball backboards for use at the HYSF Park.

The board also cancelled the election for two trustee positions which had been scheduled for May 10. The cancellation was made possible by the withdrawal of Robert Andrew Stradley, a third candidate in the election. Trustees Shane M. Bogard and Wende Ellison Haney are thus unopposed.

In other matters, trustees:
- selected Rutherford, Taylor & Company, PC to serve as auditors of HISD's financial records and accounting practices. The audit price will not exceed $13,000.
- heard a report on a new water problem at the elementary school gymnasium where remedial action appears to be restoring the proper moisture level in the new flooring. The floor is covered by insurance.
- heard a report that 95.58 percent of the property taxes due have been collected.
- heard a report that an accident damaged the emergency water supply to a fire hydrant.
- heard a report that the high school principal selection committee has received 38 applications and reduced the field to eight candidates. Several of those eight candidates will be invited to a preliminary interview session.
- heard a report that enrollment is down, especially at the high school, but attendance is running ahead of last year's pace maintaining the state's average daily attendance payment.
- heard a report that some additional asbestos abatement will be necessary on space in the old kitchen area. The expense will be charged to the maintenance budget.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the HISD Board of Trustees is set for Monday, May 5 at 7 p.m. Meetings of the board may be held with 72-hour advance public notice.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2009 14:18  

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