Welcoming in the new year, the Amarillo Independent School District hosted their first board meeting of the season Monday to address some ongoing needs across the district, such as the replacement of roofs at district high schools, monitoring and implementing phase 2B of the Austin Middle School Shoring Project, and beginning planning for the next school year with calendar approval.
High school roof / HVAC replacement
The AISD Board of Trustees approved the selection and entering of a contract for the HVAC and roof replacement project at Amarillo High School and Palo Duro High School to L. Wallace Construction for the amount of $17,986,052.
This decision was made by the board after initially receiving five proposals on Jan. 12 from the District Construction and Maintenance Committee who evaluated the rank of proposals based on the criteria set out in the CSP (Commercial Statistical Plan). Following these recommendations, AISD approved the entering of a contract on Jan. 19 with Bluefin, LLC to serve as the architect and engineer on the project.
The replacement project includes the total roof and HVAC replacement at Amarillo High School with partial roof replacement at Palo Duro High School in the area covering the Old Main Gymnasium and locker rooms.
Austin Shoring Phase 2B
In addition to these renovations made to the high schools, AISD board members approved the construction cost to enter Phase 2B of the Austin Middle School Shoring Project. The board approved a total construction cost of $301,177.49. This phase will include site work to improve drainage and subfloor ventilation in the crawl space under the foundation to slow the erosion of the building.
This follows the completion of Phase 1, which included the installment of the jacks to support the flooring on the first floor of the middle school’s locker rooms, restroom and additional space previously deemed unstable due to the infrastructure; and Phase 2A, which increased the total area of shored square footage from 27,000 sq. ft. to 32,000 sq. ft.
According to AISD Executive Director of Operations Kirk Self, the process will be monitored over the shoring’s estimated life span of 10 to 15 years to ensure the jacks’ support of the flooring. Any adjustments to the positioning or height of the jacks during that time is covered in the original contract agreement and installation of the jacks.
“We will continue the process for the next 10 years to ensure everything is in good working order,” Self said. “Our maintenance group will have an annual process that they are looking in the crawl space and ensuring that everything is in order; in addition, we will utilize ventilation and site work to correct the drainage. We will also be placing some devices within the crawlspace that will alert us if we have moisture.”
According to the district, as part of the initial contract, an inspection of the shoring work will be reevaluated in February.
23/24 School Calendar
In preparation for the upcoming school year, the AISD Board of Trustees approved the 2023-24 school year calendar.
The calendar was presented to the board with approval from the Districtwide Educational Advisory Council (DEAC), which serves as the district’s Calendar Committee. The committee, comprising elected teachers, district support staff, student parents, and community and business representatives, took into consideration input from stakeholders, survey results, calendar requirements, testing schedules and instructional and training needs to advise the board with a calendar that best suits AISD.
In addition to the commonly recommended school holidays for students and staff, the committee and board also prioritized the placement of eight staff development/preparation campus directed work days.
“The DEAC committee spent a lot of time discussing the best way to make days that children aren’t in school, that teachers are working, most valuable. … Those are labeled in the calendar in what we decided to call ‘campus directed work days,'” said Chairman of DEAC and AISD Calendar Committee Kevin Phillips. “They are not specifically marked for teachers working in their room or staff development, training or professional development. They are marked so that campuses can really direct what is the most important work for staff and teachers to be doing on those days.”
In total, the calendar provides 172 instructional days for the students, meeting all minute requirements for the school year, and 187 teacher contractual days.