Center ISD construction projects, 2020-21 calendar revisions top board meeting

Roughrider Coliseum closer to start of construction; 15 minutes added to school days due to potential COVID-19 disruptions

Center ISD Board of Trustees and new CISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Morris on Thursday afternoon discussed the district's bond projects, undergoing several campus demolitions/constructions and approving a revised 2020-2021 master calendar for the new school year.

The extensive list of projects at Center ISD took center stage.

“We’ve still got F.L Moffett, the football stadium -  we’ve got Roughrider Coliseum going - and we’ve got the construction and demolition over at the middle school/intermediate,” he said.

Morris said there is a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, at 9:30 a.m. for the Board, the building committee, design committee, architects, construction workers and himself, where they will discuss construction for F.L Moffett.

“We will walk through and see where we are - and what their calendar and schedule is for completion,” said Morris. 

Roughrider Coliseum - I received a preliminary gym scheme. It was for rebid - I got that yesterday via email,” said Morris. “As soon as we approve it, they can go forward with the construction, document revisions and put it for rebid.”

At Center Middle School, Morris said construction started last week, removing electrical and data lines so work can begin demolishing the awnings behind the intermediate campus.

“They’re demoing (demolishing) the awnings to make a way for the expansion of the classrooms, and then they also have started the demolition and removal of some portable buildings - on the junior high campus that will be in phase 2 of that process over there,” he said. 

Roughrider Stadium, where new artificial turf is being installed, is coming along, he said.

He and the board are undergoing the discussions of which options to go with for the new field upgrade.

“We have two options; we can go with a regular fresh treated board. Or we can go with a recycled nailer board,” said Morris.

The word “nailer board” is a term that is widely used in the construction industry. A nailer board in synthetic turf is for securing the synthetic turf exterior edge from lifting and movement.  Many synthetic turf installations installed today use exterior edging to contain the turfed area.

Morris said the recycled, synthetic board will last double the amount of time than a regular one, giving their field more years of usage.

“Our current nailer boards are 10 years old and completely rotted. This synthetic nailer board - it may last us 20 years. That’s two more ‘turf cycles,’” he said. 

Morris also looked into a “shock pad” to go under the new turf.

“The shock pad is roughly $155,000.00,” he said. “What it’s designed to do is reduce the number of head injuries when kids fall - playing soccer, football, you know. Of course it won’t do away with concussions - but it will reduce the number,” he said. 

Also at Thursday's meeting presented via teleconference due to COVID-19 concerns, was consideration of revising the previously approved 2020-2021 district calendar. Morris had three main options for the board to consider.

 

The calendar changes were brought about due to concerns from the Texas Education Agency about possible cases of COVID-19 within schools and what that could mean as far as disrupting the learning process.

The board approved his calendar option A, which would mean school would start on Aug. 10, Jan. 4 would be an instructional day and so would March 15,Morris said.

“There would also be 15 minutes added to each school day,” said Morris. 

Out of a large concern for the younger students of CISD, Morris, the committee and Board of Trustees all agreed on calendar ‘a’. 

The principals of the young ones, they’re concerned with adding 30 minutes to their school day,” said Morris. “Those babies are so little and they’re already so tired at the end of current school days, he said. 

My recommendation would be calendar A with 15 additional minutes. This will keep our October break in place and our winter break,” said Morris. The board agreed and passed this motion.

He also said there will also be shut down regulations for all reopening schools.

“If a kid tests positive for coronavirus - then the recommendation from TEA - is to shut it down,” said Morris. “Now let me be real clear. When they say ‘shut it down’ - the state basically wants us to have a 48 hour turnaround.”

Morris said he is thinking that as least some parents will opt to not have their students return to classes in the fall due to pandemic concerns.

“So that if we have kids who become positive with coronavirus while school is in session - we shut down,” he said.

“And in 48 hours - we’re rushing out packets or Chrome books or doing what we did this past spring, Morris said. “If we have a case of coronavirus on a Monday - then by Wednesday morning - we’re passing out packets.”

The potential remains for this to happen multiple times throughout the year, which is why TEA is advising districts to factor in extra learning time in their calendars, he said.

 

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