Chisum ISD

Chisum ISD’s Board of Trustees has extended its contract with Harrison Walker Harper for the school district’s $26.9 million bond project approved by voters in May 2016.

Superintendent Tommy Chalaire said the project manager asked for a 90-day extension after a period of inclement weather, which has slowed the project considerably.

“I do not mind recommending this contract extension given the amount of rain days,” Chalaire said.

Board president Travis Ball said during Phase II of the project, the contractor had 54 rain days, and during Phase III, it had 109.

The board agreed to extend the contract 90 days from the original end date of Aug. 5.

Phase I of the project included new secured entrances for all the schools, adding a vocational/agriculture building at the high school, adding an art room at the high school, band hall renovations, expansion and remodel of the elementary cafeteria and gym, new elementary library, four new classrooms each at the middle and elementary schools that also serve as tornado shelters, adding a bus barn, building a new playground at elementary, adding a new field house, installing new high-definition security cameras and 10 new buses. The budgeted total for Phase I is $18.48 million.

Phase II includes adding tennis courts, a fine arts/auditorium building, an ag barn and pen area and a greenhouse for ag classes, proposed at $4.6 million.

Phase III includes adding a multi-purpose indoor facility and community center. The center will include indoor practice turf field and community room, budgeted for $3.86 million. The facility is not just for the schools, but for the community, Chalaire previously said.

The superintendent on Monday said the multi-purpose facility will be ready for the beginning of the school year, with parking west of the doors, between the facility and the ballfield.

Board member Dashielle Floyd asked about the space between the agriculture building and the existing building, if that would get treatment as well. Chalaire said that would be all blacktop.

“They don’t want to drive equipment on it, so that’s going to be one of the last things they do,” Ball said, as well as paving all the roads.

Chalaire said he had refrained from putting plaques on the new buildings so far, saving instead for one large sign on the most public building, the Performing Arts Center.

Chalaire told the board budget preparation has had an upswing for Chisum ISD since the passage of House Bill 3 in the recent legislative session. The massive education bill includes pay raises for teachers, increase in per student funding and creates a school fund to ease the “Robin Hood” funding of transferring money from wealthier districts to poorer ones.

“We’re just waiting on information from TEA (Texas Education Agency) on salary scales,” Chalaire said.

During the meeting, Chalaire told the board he has had some resignations but has hired four teachers: Sandra Tull, Lori Blackmon, Caleb Talley and Stacia Boyd.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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