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SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES CONTRACTED CUSTODIAL SERVICES, HEARS BOND REPORT
May 20, 2014
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting on May 19, 2014, and approved contracting for custodial services and also heard a report on ongoing facility plans under the bond program.
The one-year custodial services contact is with GCA Services Group with a monthly management fee of $156,121 to include all personnel, equipment, and other expenses – representing an annual savings of $125,000 to the district. GCA currently provides service to 200 districts throughout the nation, including 23 in Texas with long-term relationships in Garland and Plano as well as area districts such as Cleburne, Crowley, Keene, and White Settlement.
All current district employees would be offered positions with GCA at the same pay rates and with comparable benefits at the same out-of-pocket expense. Specifically, all employees will be paid by the company at the same rate of pay every two weeks and receive ten days paid vacation. The employees will also be eligible for a 401(k) retirement savings plan with a matching contribution from the company, pay raises based on work performance, and advancement opportunities. GCA has numerous health plan options that are very similar to school district offerings. For any employee close to retirement under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, they could continue under GISD payroll and benefits.
The benefits to the district will allow for access to a larger employment pool to be fully staffed and have substitutes when needed. The company will also provide state-of-the-art equipment to maintain clean facilities with staff trained on cleaning and safety procedures. In addition, the board approved participation in the Region 7 Education Service Center purchasing cooperative with the fee to be paid by GCA.
Tim McClure of the Huckabee architectural firm discussed the bond projects. Plans for the controlled entry vestibules at elementary and middle schools are complete with construction scheduled for the summer, and subcontracting bids are currently being accepted for these projects. Gyms for Acton Elementary School and Emma Roberson Elementary School are being rolled into the larger high school project to provide better financing through “economies of scale.”
The architects also continue discussions as plans are under development for the high school transformation. The plans not only include reconfiguration of classroom and office space but also revised traffic flows and parking areas for students, parents, and staff. Additions are planned for career and technical education, fine arts, locker rooms, and ninth grade academic classrooms. Representing the Buford-Thompson Company, Scott Barnes discussed the phasing for construction over the next two years.
Also regarding the bond, trustees approved the first round of technology equipment upgrades for model classrooms. This include $1.3 million in purchases at elementary and middle school campuses for SMART Boards, projectors, document cameras, classroom audio, miscellaneous mounts and cables, and storage for virtual desktops.
Another bond purchase approved by the board was for five 77-passenger buses and two 46-passenger activity buses for a total cost of $758,324. It is expected that future purchases will include additional regular buses over the next two years. The purchases will help the district catch up with the bus replacement schedule. The activity buses, wrapped in a design by Granbury High School graphics classes, will be used by extracurricular student groups and student field trips. The additions will reduce the need for pulling route buses for extracurricular use as well as reduce the wear and tear on regular buses. Separately, the board also approved the purchase of one 18-passanger activity bus.
The board approved summer projects to be funded on proceeds from the sale of land to Hood County for the new county recreational facility. The projects include elementary playgrounds at Acton Elementary School, Brawner Intermediate School, Mambrino School, and Roberson Elementary School that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and new bleachers for the band at the football stadium. The bleachers, which will be placed in the end zone near the field house, will provide the band with dedicated stands to be better heard by the crowd and will alleviate some congestion in the current stands. Some reserve funds will be used to complete all the projects. Baccus Elementary School and Oak Woods School already have ADA playgrounds.
School resource officer Jeff Hastings reported on the success of the drug dog program, with cases of certain substances going down while others have gone up. He did indicate that a positive climate has been set so that students are reporting instances of drug use directly or through confidential means either to him or school officials. Hasting’s presentation included a demonstration by Ben, the drug dog.
Athletic director Dwight Butler presented an overview of athletics and community education programs. There are approximately 1,650 students involved in athletics in grades 7-12 with increasing participation by Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.
Approximately 60% of students in grades 7-12 are involved in athletics, and student athletes have maintained a higher grade point average than other students. Teams were very successful competitively this year, and many advanced to post-season action. Many students also received numerous academic honors, and several rank high in their respective classes. The department also oversees driver’s education, summer camps, drug testing, and other programs.
Trustees also approved a letter of support for the Granbury Arts Alliance’s application to the Texas Arts Commission for a cultural district designation.
In personnel action, the board approved the appointment of staff positions and received notification of resignations and retirements at the end of the school year. Also approved were catastrophic leave requests for employees.
Other reports made to the board included:
- The board heard a report regarding the district’s Community Schools Health Advisory Council. Topics included immunology procedures, food allergies, suicide prevention, mental health first aid, and teen health fair as well as standing orders, professional development for nurses, AED/CPR training and procedures.
- Financial reports for March 2014 were reviewed by assistant superintendent for finance and operations Dobie Williams.
Board members approved minutes from the last regular meeting, budget amendments, and bids and purchases for: magazine and periodical subscription services, instructional supplies for career and technical education programs, nurse and health supplies, student insurance, grounds equipment repair services, copy paper, and charter bus services. The board also approved commissioning Delta-T Ltd. for testing, adjusting, and balancing for the installation of HVAC units and engineered air balancing. Also approved was a repair project for a concrete panel at Brawner Intermediate School.
The board also adopted proposed changes to local and legal district policy recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards in Policy Update 99 and changed authorized representatives for investment pools.
Trustees will next for regular monthly meeting and a workshop on Monday, June 16. Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room located next to the Administration Building at 600 W. Pearl Street.
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