NEWS HEADLINES

District scurrying to finish construction projects

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013

While most school district employees enjoyed a summer break, Dennis McCreary and his team worked relentlessly to manage various summer construction projects.

Now it’s crunch time to finish those additions, constructions and renovations by the start of classes in two weeks.

At Monday night’s Northwest ISD school board meeting, the assistant superintendent for facilities, planning and construction gave his premiere “report of miracles” on summer construction.

The 707,000 square feet of work the team hopes to finish includes additions at Lakeview Elementary in Trophy Club and Love Elementary in Justin, and the completion of Cox Elementary in Roanoke in 10 months.

“They’ll take a deep breath as soon as the first day of school gets here,” Superintendent Karen Rue said.

“It’ll be neat,” McCreary said. “One of my favorite things is standing on the corner and watching the kids’ faces when they see their new school.”

In other construction business, the board OK’d a second amendement to the guaranteed maximum price for the construction of V.R. Eaton High School.

The $81,041,240 change covers higher bids for concrete, elevators and kitchen equipment.

“We received 230 bids (for the construction portion) … and we took the low bid on each one of these except three areas,” McCreary said. “There were some issues either with the contractor in previous projects or not meeting specifications.”

The change brings the total cumulative guaranteed maximum price for the project to $94,630,421.

The board also accepted a $1,179,879 million change order in unused contingencies in the construction of Wilson Middle School. The unused funds reduce the guaranteed maximum price on the school from $30,811,486 to $29,631,607.

“This is a great opportunity for Mr. McCreary to share the careful scrutiny he gives to each one of these projects,” Rue said.

IN OTHER NEWS

The board also:

  • upheld the same exceptions to the two-mile rule as last year. The policy, which was instituted in 2011 as a result of budget cuts, eliminated bus transportation for students who live within a two-mile radius of their school. The following NISD schools in Wise County have areas within a two-mile radius that have been deemed as hazardous: Prairie View Elementary – all streets within a two-mile radius except Chisholm Creek Parkway, Cody Court, Chisholm Court, Clear Fork Trail and Cheyenne Trail; Seven Hills Elementary – all streets within a two-mile radius; Chisholm Trail Middle School – streets north of Texas 114 and U.S. 81/287 within the city of Rhome and streets west of Farm Road 3433 and north of Farm Road 718, except Chisholm and Savanna Drive; and Northwest High School – all streets within a two-mile radius.
  • denied a level III appeal filed by Kelli Ragsdale, an employee, therefore upholding the administration’s decision at level II.
  • approved policy updates as outlined by the Texas Association of School Boards. Major topics affected by the rule changes include instructional materials, bilingual education, communicable diseases, state assessments, Texas Virtual School Network, transportation – hazardouse routes, Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act and the Uninterrupted Scholars Act of 2013.
  • extended an agreement with Smith and Associates as the district’s employee benefit consultant at a monthly cost of $2.50 per employee to help with the management of various medical plans, the clinic and the worker’s comp fund. “They help us with submission of bids and also guide us as to what changes we need to make to the plans,” said Kitty Poehler, executive director of personnel services.
  • opted out of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as permitted for non-federal government plans;
  • renewed an agreement with Travelers Insurance for coverage of the district’s property such as turf, signs, scoreboards, band uniforms, band instruments, athletic uniforms and athletic equipment. Because of the addition of the district’s 17th elementary campus and “the volatility of events down south – the plant explosion in West and hurricanes,” the district will see a $70,110 increase.

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