05 22 2015

Board Approves Facility, Curriculum Expansion

By David Kapitan
Staff Writer
The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees met on Monday night, approving a proposed expansion of the district’s Career Technology program.
Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame presented board members with a presentation on expanding the districts Career Technology program to offer several new courses, including cosmetology and auto shop.
Blasingame’s presentation included the construction of a new building, tentatively placed behind the high school.
The new facility would be home to the administration building, as well as housing the cosmetology school, expanded culinary arts room, auto shop, and four computer labs.
Early estimates place the cost of the building at $2,881,782. Another building proposal, without the computer labs, held an estimated cost of $2,137,682.
Blasingame was confident that, if board members chose to proceed, cost of the new facility could be maintained in the $2.5 million range.
Board members were pleased with the presentation, citing that the new coursework would provide students another career path.
Blasingame referenced a tentative timeline:
-April: board approves proposal
-May: develop plans
-Summer 2013: board approves plans/bidding process
-Fall 2013: begin construction
-Summer 2014: renovate home ec. classroom in main high school building
-Fall 2014: occupy building
Following the discussion, board member unanimously approved Blasingame’s proposal.
In other business:
-The board briefly discussed closing of the Elmo and Myrtle Springs voting precincts in 2014. The agenda item died after no board member made a motion on its behalf.
-The board approved several improvement projects, including accepting bids to redo carpet and tile at the primary and intermediate campuses, and approving a lighting project at the junior high campus.
-Four speakers took the opportunity to speak during public comment, including Cindy Nottingham and Sharon Bradfield, who spoke about the high school’s successful UIL program. Bradfield also addressed a recently dismissed staff member.
Scott Pemberton spoke in support of Wills Point High School head football coach and athletic director Kevin Garvin, whose contract is currently under consideration by the district.
A fourth speaker, Mr. Sheppard, asked the board to dismiss a proposal to close down the voting precincts in Elmo and Myrtle Springs.
-The next regular board meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 14.


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