By Holly Wise and Lauren Cabral

The Cove Herald

Copperas Cove ISD

The board unanimously agreed to change April 13 and June 3 from early-release days to full days, pending approval from the Texas Education Agency. The two days will be used to make up for a bad weather day on Feb. 9.

The board also approved the acceptance of the Army Youth Program in Your Neighborhood After School Program at Copperas Cove High School.

The Department of the Army has contracted to expand the availability of after-school programs for Army-connected youth who attend secondary schools off of the military installation, according to information from AYPYN.

The school is paid per student who participates in after-school programs, which includes existing after-school programs between 2 and 7 p.m. In-season athletics and cheerleading are excluded.

CCHS Principal Rick Kirkpatrick told the board Monday his first priority for the money is to fund academic activities. The district will receive $2,000 per daily Army-connected youth space.

In other business, the board unanimously agreed to allow the Mount Hiram Lodge to place a cornerstone for House Creek Elementary School. The lodge will make all the arrangements.

The board approved a proposed settlement agreement for T. Brown vs. Copperas Cove ISD to settle on-going litigation.

Representatives from CCISD, assigned counsel, and the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund attended a mediation last month in an attempt to settle the litigation.

The district will not be responsible for any portion of the settlement payment.

The 2010-11 United Way Community Campaign collected $626,000 this year, and schools across the district contributed to that total.

J.L. Williams/Lovett Ledger Elementary School received the Top Giver Award by raising $14,500.

The most improved campus was Copperas Cove High School. The school raised $7,278, which was the largest percentage increase from the previous year.

C.R. Clements/Hollie Parsons Elementary School, Copperas Cove High School, Copperas Cove Junior High School, Hettie Halstead Elementary School, and J.L. Williams/Lovett Ledger Elementary School received Gold Awards for raising more than $5,000.

S.C. Lee Junior High School and Mae Stevens Elementary School received Silver Awards for raising more than $2,500.

The Central Administration Building and Martin Walker Elementary School received Bronze Awards for raising more than $1,000.

Support Services, crossing guards, Avenue E Alternative Learning Center and Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School were also recognized for contributions.

The board received a $3,000 donation from Altrusa International Inc. of Copperas Cove for Reading is Fundamental.

The board approved an out-of-state trip for three students and an advisor to compete at the DECA National Conference in Orlando, Florida on April 30 through May 4.

Kempner City Council

KEMPNER - After an executive session Tuesday, the Kempner City Council voted to reject all construction bids for a new City Hall building and submit another, smaller floor plan for bids.

Dennis Dyke of Abacus Engineering in Hewitt, who created the initial bid packet, said the six bids submitted by various companies came in over the city's $300,000 budget for the project.

He said the new bid packet would be ready to release in late March.

Marty Wall of First Draft Inc., created the first layout, which had a total footage of 4,800 square feet. He said construction bids came in from companies in Waco, Killeen, Austin and Harker Heights, but all were over the city's $300,000 budget for the project.

"We're just surprised at the cost of bids that came in," Wall said. "We're not sure what the reason is."

Wall presented a simplified floor plan with 4,000 square feet to council members at a council workshop Tuesday, saying the revised plan was about as simple as it could be. The revised plan features small offices for city staff and only three additional offices, which will be used if more positions are added in the future.

Mayor Gene Isenhour said more revisions were being made to Wall's floor plan, and the city will advertise the project for the required two weeks to announce when proposals will be taken. The council wants the project to be finished by Sept. 1. He said the most important factors in the bid decision would be cost, how quickly the building could be built, and proximity.

"Of course my preference would be a local contractor, so local contractors should make sure they'll do a reasonable bid on it," Isenhour said.

Isenhour also announced at the Tuesday meeting Kempner will be getting a stoplight, which will replace the blinking light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 190 and Farm-to-Market 2313.

He said the Texas Department of Transportation's Brownwood district engineer applied for funds and received them. The contract will be let in June, and construction is expected to being in November. The light should be operational in early 2012.

"It has been a work in progress even before the city was incorporated," Isenhour said.

He added there has been increased traffic in Kempner since development on the north side of town has increased, and heavy trucks often come and go through the intersection, and there have been a significant number of traffic accidents.

"We've been very fortunate not to have had a fatality there lately, but there's still lots of fender-benders," he said. "We think a light there would prevent accidents."

LAMPASAS - The Lampasas Independent School District board of trustees agreed Monday to authorize the Facilities Steering Committee to rank and negotiate qualifications for an architectural facility study for the middle school and high school stadium. The committee was formed during the board's February regular meeting.

Board President Jamie Briggs said the approval of the negotiations does not mean a decision is being made for either facility.

"It would allow the board and administration to make informed decisions about what would happen in the future," he said.

LISD Superintendent Randy Hoyer said district enrollment was up by two students, but attendance was a "real negative" at 91 percent due to sickness.

"The positive is the fact our enrollment is holding and that is a good thing," he said.

In other business, the board heard a report from LISD Deputy Superintendent Nancy Yeary on the state's State of Texas Assessment Academic Readiness testing.Bids will open for the middle school HVAC system March 16.

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