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Harmony ISD Trustees

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Tennis court damage "serious; "High School expansion advanced
By JOHN SPARKS

 Meeting in regular session Monday, November 17 trustees of the Harmony Independent School District were advised of a serious problem with the school district's tennis courts, authorized architect Ted Estey to generate the next generation of drawings for the proposed five-classroom expansion of the high school, and received a formal report on the performance of students on the TAKS test. Following their election to the board in the November 4 general election, four members, two of whom are new to the board, were sworn in to three year terms.


Superintendent Jed Whitaker advised board members of serious damage to the tennis facility on the school's campus. Following the heavy rainfall last week, several cracks appeared in the surface asphalt of the four courts. The problem, first noted last year, is caused by serious erosion under the paved surface. Some steps were taken in an attempt to deal with the problem, but the 3-plus inch rainfall and the resulting runoff drainage overwhelmed those measures. The board consensus was to hire an engineering consulting firm to assess the problem.

The board also approved the continued development of plans for a five classroom addition to the high school building. Architect Ted Estey had submitted three different approaches to the proposed expansion at last month's board meeting, with board members favoring one that featured five classrooms and two new handicapped accessible rest rooms. Based on current construction costs for such facilities, Estey said the 6,100 square foot addition would likely cost $130 per square foot, or $793,000. Worst case would run the cost up to $150 per square foot, or $915,000.

Board members again debated the advisability of a bod issue for the project, with the consensus being to use a combination of the school's fund balance and a loan to fund the project from the M&O budget rather than bonds.

To be ready for occupancy next August, construction on the the new classroom addition will have to begin no later than February.

Two new members and two members who were re-elected to the board were sworn into service. New members Michael Seahorn and William Smith join the board while Jerry Key and Garry Littlejohn return to the Harmony ISD Board. The current officers were all re-elected to their posts-Key as President, Jerry Durrum, Vice President and Ann Stegall as Secretary.

Enrollment at Harmony stood at 1041 as of November 13, up from 1037 at the end of August.

Whitaker reported the district had generally positive, but mixed results in the AEIS assessment which is primarily measured by the TAKS testing program. He reviewed the results for all grade levels, suggesting problems with a math curriculum used in the primary and elementary schools.

The board approved a budget amendment to recode tax appraisal fees.

Whitaker also provided board members with:
- a report on student activities,
- a review of a sound financial status,
- a glimpse of the audit report which will be presented formally at the next meeting,

The next regular meeting of the Harmony ISD Board of Trustees will be Monday, December 15. A special meeting can be called with 72-hours notice.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2009 18:57  

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