Brett Williams was sworn in as the newest trustee as the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees met for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

After Williams assumed his seat, the board approved the hiring of Huckabee & Associates for the architectural and engineering services for the planned Clifton Park/Bellaire elementary school consolidation project.

The project is expected to take close to 22 months, with a targeted completion date of December 2020.

The total budget for the project is $40 million, which will be funded through the bond, as well as supplemented with funds from the Strategic Facilities Plan.

During Tuesday’s meeting, board member JoAnn Purser asked for clarification as to why the board decided on constructing a new campus instead of the original plan of renovating Clifton Park.

Superintendent John Craft said renovation of the existing Clifton Park campus would require that students be moved in to portable buildings while construction was completed, causing disruptions to learning, as well as presenting safety issues that accompany transitions to and from portable buildings.

“When you look at the cost effectiveness of getting a brand new elementary school, versus renovating an old one and still having the old bones, I think this is an optimal option,” Craft said.

In other business, Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley shared the results of the district’s annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report. This report was created in 2001 as a way to provide accountability and transparency to the public. School districts are required to submit financial data, which is then used to rate the district on 15 indicators.

For the most recent report, data from the 2016-17 fiscal year were analyzed. KISD was given a score of 100/100, earning a superior rating. Indicators such as compliance with debt agreements, staff to student ratio and administrative cost ratio were considered.

The complete FIRST report can be found on the district’s website as an attachment to the board meeting agenda.

In other business:

Sharon Davis, interim superintendent for curriculum and instruction, presented to the board a proposal for seven new courses to be added to the course list of the Early College High School.

The proposal included two new biology courses, designed for students who are not majoring in science.

“These courses would allow students to take a less intensive science course than those who are majoring in science,” Davis said.

The proposal also included an environmental science course, two geology courses, and two music classes. The music classes would help students fulfill the fine arts credits that are required for obtaining a high school diploma.

The proposed course list passed with a unanimous 7-0 vote.

Also Tuesday:

The board recognized four teams from Charles E. Patterson Middle School. All of the school’s cross country teams, in fact. All four teams, seventh-grade boys and girls, and eighth-grade boys and girls, ended the season as district champions. Students from each team were present at the meeting, and were honored by the board.

The board approved the hiring of Joel Guzman of Joel’s Floors to fix a drainage issue that causes the Harker Heights High School band practice area to flood. Approximately 200 feet of storm drain will be installed and a nearby hill will be re-graded. The approved budget for this project is $59,085.

It was also decided that an engineer would be selected and hired to repair the parking lot at Ellison High School. This construction will be conducted in the summer of 2019 and will cost an estimated $3.1 million.

The board also unanimously voted to approve the calendar for the 2019-20 school year during Tuesday’s meeting.

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