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New sources of water, technology meet board approval

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Decatur school district plans to dig deep to save money on irrigation costs at three of its facilities.

About 500 feet, to be exact.

On Monday the school board approved a bid of $100,775 submitted by Associated Well Services of Stephenville to drill water wells at Eagle Stadium, the high school track complex and the baseball/softball complex near the middle school. The wells will be used for irrigation of those areas.

In the case of Eagle Stadium, the irrigated area would include the football field and surrounding areas, including the support services and administration buildings. The track complex irrigation would also include areas around the high school. The wells would be tied in to existing irrigation systems which are currently connected to the city’s water supply.

City water would still be used inside the facilities.

Superintendent Rod Townsend said the wells will pay for themselves in less than a year, since the school pays more per year to irrigate than it will cost to drill the wells.

TECHNOLOGY REPLACEMENT

The board also approved a technology upgrade at the elementary level. Most of the equipment was scheduled to be replaced last fall as part of the planned 4-year replacement cycle, but it was delayed a year since the district felt the technology was still meeting the needs of students.

Each of the three elementary campuses will receive 120 iPad 2s for grades 3 through 5 and 90 iPad Minis for pre-kindergarten through second grade. The new devices will replace student laptops and student AlphaSmart Neo devices.

The district also approved two days of training for 20 elementary teachers for integrating iPads into the classroom and 21 carts for the campuses to store and secure the iPads. The total cost is $260,832.

Previously approved bond funds will pay for $160,832 of the cost while instructional materials allotment funds will be used for the other $100,000.

In other business, the board honored Decatur High School agriculture teacher Jim Allsup as the educator of the month and Debbie Frie from Young Elementary as support staff employee of the month.

A public hearing was also held on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). The district received a “superior rating.”

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