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Max price set for bistro

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, August 4, 2018
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Decatur High School’s bistro will become a reality later this fall.

Decatur ISD trustees approved the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $423,932 from builders Steele and Freeman Monday for construction of the facility in the high school library.

In the 6-0 vote for moving ahead with the project that’s been discussed for the past several months, trustees acknowledged that there will be additional costs – architectural fees and furniture.

“We are making good progress on the project,” said Decatur ISD School Board President Cheri Boyd. “What we have now, I feel comfortable with. There are other numbers we have to wait on. After we see those, we can go from there.”

Working with district officials and the architect Claycomb Associates, Steele and Freeman cut nearly $250,000 off the estimate of $670,000 given to the board June 18. They were instructed to get the project under $460,000.

George DeJohn of Claycomb said the front counter and condiment counter were changed to cut costs. The district also cut the number of ovens from two to one.

Shelly Laaser, director of child nutrition, said the district will move a freezer from the administration building to the bistro to trim costs.

While trimming the cost, Michael Freeman of Steele and Freeman, said there will be room to add everything that was cut in the future.

“The bistro is needed. We just need to make sure we’re transparent with the numbers,” said trustee Wade Watson. “The $423,932 is not the complete cost.”

Construction on the bistro and delivery and installation of the equipment will not be complete until sometime in November.

The high school will have a closed campus during lunch this school year. Superintendent Judi Whitis said Laaser has prepared a schedule with three lunch periods at the high school. The district has increased the seating capacity of the cafeteria to 440 students to help at the start of the year.

In other business, the district hired Shane Conklin as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

Conklin is currently director of student and staff services at Coppell ISD. Conklin previously led the human resources department at Granbury. He also held administrative positions at Northwest, Crowley and White Settlement.

“He has 14 years experience and has been a principal at all levels along with being a director of secondary education and HR director,” Whitis said. “We’re very excited to have him.”

Conklin is the second assistant superintendent named in the past two weeks. The district elevated Steve White to assistant superintendent for operations.

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