By Jackie Stone

Killeen Daily Herald

LAMPASAS – Several Lampasas school administrators received an extra year on their contract Monday night.

The Lampasas Independent School District board approved contract extensions for several employees, including the principals of LISD's two new schools, Kelly Dunn at Taylor Creek Elementary School and Mark Kehoe at Lampasas High School.

In other business, the board discussed possible solutions to the drainage problem at Lampasas Middle School.

Board President James Briggs said over the years, additional construction on the school's flat property has decreased the ability of floodwaters to drain off into the creek. The city also has a work order to resolve backed-up drainage pipes that has been delayed by the weather.

"Right now from our property to city property, the pipe is three-quarters full of dirt, and from the soccer fields to the creek it's completely full of dirt," Briggs said.

The board approved moving ahead with efforts to find a civil engineer to survey the school and the flood plain before a decision on a solution is made.

School officials also updated the board on ongoing maintenance projects including repairs to the heating and cooling system at Hanna Springs Elementary School that was damaged due to freezing weather and efforts to fix acoustical problems at the Lampasas High School gym.

On Monday morning, several dozen teachers, coaches and administrators gathered at Lampasas High School to be the first to find out what schools their students will compete against in state competitions for the next two years.

The University Interscholastic League announces the realignment of Texas school high schools every two years. The realignment based on enrollment numbers decides what level schools will compete at, from 1A to 5A, and against what schools in competitions for everything from football to academics. For the past 15 years, the high school has hosted the watch party

Janet Melton, public speaking and debate teacher at the high school, said she likes to hold the event to bring all the groups that compete in UIL competitions together and show their support for one another. She also said it recognizes how the realignment affects all of them.

"Who we debate is the same as who we play football and who we play basketball against," Melton said.

On Monday, the UIL announced that Lampasas High School would be a 3A school in basketball and football. Currently, LISD is in District 4A.

"Right now we're one of the smallest 4A schools in the state," Melton said. "I'd love to be the top of 3A rather than the bottom of 4A."

UIL realignments for academics and other extracurricular programs will be announced in the spring but generally fall in line with the sports realignments.

Principal Mark Kehoe said he believes the realignment is good for the community and students, and will reignite old rivalries with nearby schools.

"It's a different mentality for our kids, being the biggest. I think they'll be excited," he said.

With the realignment, Lampasas will compete against Burnet, Llano, Salado, Taylor and Liberty Hill.

The enrollment cutoff for 3A schools was up to 989 students. Superintendent Randy Hoyer said the high school's reported enrollment was three short of being a 4A school.

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