After picking an architect, the work on the Brock ISD bond projects is expected to begin during the summer.
The $21.36 million bond election was approved by voters earlier this month and funds new security enhancements, school buses, more classrooms at the high school and junior high school, technology upgrades, an agriculture building lab for welding and fabrication and a junior high gymnasium. No tax rate increase will result because of the bond, and the district lowered the overall tax rate by 12 cents this year.
The BISD board of trustees selected the architecture firm Corgan to take on this project. The design process will happen in January and February, and plans may arise by March, Superintendent Cade Smith said.
“We’re on a fast timeline to try to beat the growth that we’re experiencing and get kids in the building without portables,” Smith said.
The original plan was to start construction on the junior high school first before working on the high school, but plans are expected to change because of rising inflation costs on construction materials, Smith said.
“We can save quite a bit of money by doing all projects at once,” Smith said. “So, we have not voted on that yet, but that’s the conversations that we’re having right now to start both the high school and junior high projects at the same time and be done by August 2021.”
Districtwide improvements, such as transportation and security needs, are expected to happen soon as well, Smith said.
The district will discuss hiring a construction manager agent during December’s board meeting, Smith said. The agent works with contractors and provides guidance.
Soil testing on the high school and junior high school, which was approved at the last school board meeting, will happen during the design process, Smith said.
“From what I understand, when the high school was built, some soil work was done at that time to kind of, I guess, level everything out, and it should be still in good shape, but that was almost a decade ago,” Smith said. “I don’t think that soil work will impact the timeline that we’ve got. The thing that impacts the timeline is always weather. It rains too much one spring, that pushes everything back.”
BISD Communications Director Natalie Parish said the district will continue to update the community on bond progress on the website.
“As we move forward with timelines and the construction bidding process, we’ll include all of that information on our website,” Parish said. “Project photos, where construction contractors can take part in the bidding process on all of these different projects, the process to do that, all of that information will be available to our community and those outside our community through our website.”
BISD is also developing a bond oversight committee for residents across the district to participate in, Smith said. Committee members will give feedback on the design and timeline to the school board. Smith is hoping that the committee can have as many community members as possible get involved.
“It’s citizens that will be charged with ensuring that more or less we’re doing what we said we were going to do with the bond,” Smith said.