Safety meeting

The last Killeen ISD meeting of the school year drew a capacity crowd to the board of trustees meeting room Tuesday night.

People filled the seats and lined the walls of the meeting room, with dozens more waiting outside in the hallways of the KISD Administration Building before the meeting began.

Many in the crowd were parents and family members who came to see their children honored by the board at the beginning of the meeting.

Proud parents cheered and took photos and videos of the various teams honored Tuesday.

Among the students honored were members of the Shoemaker High School track and varsity basketball teams, who won district championships. Also recognized were members of the Patterson Middle School track and swim teams, who also won district championships.

Members of the Rancier Middle School chess team were honored for winning the Texas Super State Middle School Championship. The Willow Springs Elementary School chess team was also recognized for winning a spot in the U.S. Chess Federation Texas Super State tournament.

By the time the awards and recognition was over, only about a dozen people remained in the meeting room.

The six members of the board present at the meeting moved quickly on the nearly two-dozen items remaining on its agenda. Board member Brett Williams was absent Tuesday night.

Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley gave a detailed presentation on the proposed 2020 fiscal year budget, showing what might change between the budget currently in effect and the proposed budget.

Using figures currently available, revenues for fiscal year 2020 would be $17 million higher than fiscal year 2019, totalling $408.1 million.

If no pay raises are added to next year’s budget, expenditures would equal $402.7 million. The projected cost for a 1% general pay increase is $2.5 million. The projected budget could allow for up to a 2% general pay increase without reaching a deficit.

The superintendent noted that the state Legislature is still in session and still talking about reforms in the way Texas funds education. Craft said that any changes made by the Legislature would likely take place in the 2021 fiscal year, so budget planning would continue using numbers similar to last year.

The school district’s budget must be approved by Aug. 31, since the fiscal year begins on Sept. 1.

Bradley said she would return in two weeks to update the board on the work on the ongoing work on the budget.

In other action, the board reported on its canvass of votes from the May 4 school board elections, affirming that incumbents Shelley Wells, Susan Jones and Corbett Lawler won their races and will remain on the board. Incumbent Brett Williams was unopposed, but will have to run again next year if he chooses to stand for re-election.

The board also received updates on a series of construction projects being financed by $426 million bond program approved by voters last year.

Executive Director of Facilities Services Adam Rich told the board that the project to consolidate Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf Elementary schools would cost $5.1 million less than originally anticipated. The cost is now $27.9 million, down from $33 million.

A new school that will consolidate Clifton Park and Bellaire Elementary schools will also cost $6.6 million less. The project will cost $28.4 million, down from $35 million.

The $11 million in savings was created by moving up the schedule for both projects, saving the district the usual cost increases that happen over time.

The board approved the maximum price for both projects without discussion.

In other actions:

  • The board agreed to a mutual scheduling agreement between the school district and Fort Hood to allow facilities use through July 31, 2021.
  • Agreed to relocating a cell tower that is currently on the grounds of Nolan Middle School. The tower must be relocated due to the construction of the Clifton Park/Bellaire Consolidated Elementary schools.
  • Agreed to a ranking of the contractors who have bid on security upgrades for the district.
  • Agreed to a resolution declaring Wednesday as Peace Officer Memorial Day for the Killeen Independent School District.

The board moved into executive session to discuss several items at 8 p.m. After returning at 9 p.m., the board denied a grievance appeal discussed during the closed session.

The board moved back into executive session to discuss the naming of school facilities, including Middle School 14, which will be built in the area of Warriors Path and Pueblo Trace in Harker Heights.

After returning from the closed session, the board voted unanimously to name the school Nolan Middle School and then adjourned.

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