Weatherford Democrat

July 30, 2013

Aledo ISD discusses expansion, security


Weatherford Democrat

— By SALLY SEXTON



Aledo ISD trustees met July 22 night to finalize design plans for a more secured high school entrance as well as expansion to the Learning Center.

Lisa Vardeman, with VLK architecture, and a representative with Buford-Thompson Company, presented the board with several options regarding increased security at the high school as well as room for growth at the Learning Center.

Trustees were presented with three options for adding on a wing for expansion at the learning center, opting to go with the design for the first option, a 10,073-square-foot steel frame, at an estimated cost of $2,301.482. Option two was a 9,263-square-foot pre-engineered frame at an estimated cost of $2,007,571, and the third option presented was a 9,294-square-foot frame at a cost of approximately $2,194,127.

Earl Husfeld, chief financial officer for the district, and superintendent Derek Citty said they spoke with school administrators to try and get a feel for which option might be best.

“Concept and facility wise, we can accomplish our growth with any one of these three,” Husfeld said. “But I think options one and three would give the district greater flexibility for future expansion.”

VLK and Buford-Thompson also presented the board with two options regarding high school renovations to the entrance vestibule to help increase security.

The first option, at a cost of $138,483, would add an enclosed storefront to the vestibule connecting the high school and Distance Learning Center, as well as add a security office to one corner of the waiting area of the high school. Option two, at a price tag of approximately $119,375, would have an attendance and security office side by side inside the waiting area while maintaining the existing vestibule.

Trustees unanimously approved the final design selected option one moving forward.

“When we talked with administration and (Aledo High School principal) Dan Peterson, they were pretty square on preferring option one,” Citty said.

Financing for both projects will come out of a $4 million budget set aside when the district sold bonds in 2008, according to Husfeld.

Now that final designs have been accepted by the board, Citty said the next step would be for Vardeman to come up with a 100 percent complete set of plans and present them to Buford Thompson. Citty said the two would then work up a guaranteed maximum price for the projects.

In other news, trustees also:

• Approved a secondary request submittal to allow a second approver for access to TEA site information.

“When we change staff or hire new employees, we have to have the approval [of the superintendent] to give them access,” Lynn McKinney, deputy superintendent, said. “We’ve come close to missing deadlines for various reasons.”

“About 98 percent of access will still be approved by me,” Citty said. “This is more for those rare times when something happens or I’m out of town and can’t be reached.”

• Approved a mild increase in child nutrition meal prices under the Healthy Hunger Kids Act.

Lunches at the elementary will now cost $2.30, lunches at the intermediate will be $2.40, middle school prices will ne $2.60, and intermediate and high school costs will be $285. In addition, the price of adult/staff lunches will also increase to $3.35.

“The last time we increased lunch prices was in 2011 and we raised them enough to where we wouldn’t have to last year,” Husfeld said. “But with costs going up and trying to comply with the nutritional standards, we’re having to raise prices again this year.”

• Approved a request by First Financial Bank for a bank depository proposal.

• Elected Bobby Rigues as the delegate and Jay Stringer as the alternate for TASA/TASB representative.