KISD Meeting

The KISD board of trustees discusses business during their regular meeting on Tuesday.

The Killeen school board Tuesday approved a site-package price for the new high school being funded from the $426 million bond approved in 2018 and heard information about consideration of a new bond that could go before the district’s voters in May.

Superintendent John Craft provided the board of trustees with information on what was discussed at the Nov. 5 bond steering committee meeting for a potential 2020 bond issue -- a construction update, a financial update, student enrollment projections and information on portable building utilization.

Craft spent over 15 minutes going through the presentation that was given at the committee meeting and spent the majority of the time talking about the Killeen Independent School District’s portable buildings, which district officials are attempting to eliminate in the coming years.

Craft said potential projects for the bond and district finances will be discussed at the Nov. 19 committee meeting at Harker Heights Elementary School.

Board President Corbett Lawler said Killeen ISD has never been able to get out in front of the portables problem, and the district will have to take drastic steps to try to solve it.

Only Corbett Lawler and Joann Purser commented following Craft’s presentation, and few concerns were voiced by the board.

Earlier in the meeting, Adam Rich, the executive director of facilities for the district, said the maximum price for the new high school’s site package was just over $20.35 million.

Funding for the site package comes from the 2018 bond program; $21 million was budgeted for the package.

The entire project for the new high school -- which will be built in south Killeen off Chaparral Road -- is budgeted at $147 million, funded by 2018 bond money.

The board approved the site package price with a 6-0 vote.

In other business:

The district and the board began seeking district of innovation designation that would allow the district to gain exemption from some aspects of the Texas Education Code, according to David Manley the assistant superintendent for instructional leadership for KISD. Manley said the designation would allow the district to adjust the first day of the school year and gain professional development days for teachers in the district.

The designation would also allow the district to not have to send class size waiver requests to the TEA if it is approved.

There is a long list of exemptions the district could pursue if they move toward the designation, according to Manley.

The board approved the resolution for the district to begin the process of becoming a district of innovation. Immediately following the board’s approval, a public hearing was required regarding the development of an innovation plan. Around 10 individuals were present at the meeting at the time of the public hearing and nobody chose to speak on the topic.

The board approved appointing a committee to adopt a plan to submit to the TEA in accordance with the Texas Education Code.

Manley presented a list of mostly KISD employees and a few parents and community members as a suggested committee. The list was approved by the board of trustees with a 6-0 vote, with the addition of Katy Bohannon, the principal of Iduma Elementary School.

Bohannon was added to the list at the recommendation of Brockley Moore from the audience.

The board approved three new high school classes for the 2020/2021 school year with a 6-0 vote.

The new classes are African American Studies, AP Computer Science Principles and Mariachi, a music course.

The board also approved the authorization to sell district-owned property at 902 Twin Creek Drive in Killeen with a 6-0 vote.

Joann Purser asked that the option to trade the property for a possible school site in the future be put out with the bid to sell the property.

The property is the old Sallie Mae facility, and the district has no current or foreseeable use for the property.

The property has a 30,000 square foot building and a 221-vehicle parking lot. The building and five adjoining acres were gifted to the district in 2011.

Taina Maya, the district’s spokeswoman, speaking for Craft, said Yesthat the site was not considered as a potential school site because the piece of land is too small for a school.

The next meeting of the board of trustees will be at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10.

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