Seen and Heard at the March 2018 School Board Meeting

Seen and Heard at the March 2018 School Board Meeting
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March 19, 2018 -- At the March 19 meeting, the School Board recognized the Amarillo High Lady Sandies Basketball Team and coaches for winning the 5A State Championship. 

In her Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Dana West gave an overview of recent efforts and initiatives to improve school safety and security in AISD.  She also reported that the North Heights Community Engagement Committee is expanding to include community members, parents, teachers and additional staff.  The Committee has been meeting since last summer and continues to explore options, research data, and receive input regarding a neighborhood school in the North Heights area of Amarillo. 

Dr. West introduced Steven Smith, Vice President of Business Affairs at Amarillo College, who provided a 6-year projected cost analysis for ACE Amarillo.  ACE Amarillo is the expanded ACE scholarship program that proposes to give any AISD high school student who is ACE-eligible the opportunity to earn a scholarship for up to 60 credit hours, or three years, at Amarillo College.  Dr. West said AISD is awaiting an attorney general opinion, expected in June, regarding the legality of pledging AISD taxpayer dollars to support the program financially.   

The Board voted to move forward with a construction project to complete upgrades to Fannin Middle School and Lamar Elementary School, the first of the projects included in the $100 million bond issue approved by voters in November 2017.  Fannin is set to receive an expanded cafeteria, 12 new classrooms (half of which will also serve as a storm shelter), renovated bathrooms, a new student drop-off area, a secured entrance with bullet-resistant glass, a renovated and relocated front office, and new flooring, ceilings, windows and lighting throughout.  At Lamar, upgrades will include drainage improvements, installation of bullet-resistant glass in the secured entryway, and plumbing and sewer line replacement.  The cost estimate for the two-campus project is on budget at $16,414,650. 

In other business, the Board approved Tri-State General Contractors to begin a paving and concrete replacement project at several campuses and the Dick Bivins Stadium parking lot, and they approved design phase drawings for the new tennis center at Palo Duro High School.  Trustees also awarded a bid to two vendors, Suddenlink and AMA TechTel, to provide Internet access services for all AISD facilities.

The Board expressed appreciation to the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild and the Amarillo Association of Realtors for gifts and donations to schools totaling $650 this month.

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