Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

A judge has ruled to put moving the remains of 95 bodies exhumed from an unmarked cemetery on hold in Fort Bend County. On Monday, the judge said the remains will stay where they were found for now. Construction crews discovered the cemetery back in April after they began work on building a $59 million career and technical center. view article arw


November 2008:25 AM

When not working in Washington I get to work in the district, listening and learning about the concerns of constituents. One of the highlights of the last few weeks was visiting the new state-of-the-art Career and Technology Center at Willis ISD. Director Travis Utecht gave me a tour and I was impressed by the facility and the dedication of the instructors. Institutions like this are a vital part of helping students prepare for the 21st Century American economy. It’s great to have a world-class example in our district. I also attended the reopening of the Conroe Tenaris plant, and learned it means 100 new jobs in our district. Thanks to tax reform and the rolling back of regulations, the American economy is booming, but it’s extra special when families right here are impacted in a positive way. view article arw

Construction is currently underway at Fannin Middle School as ceilings are being raised and rooms are being expanded. Fannin Middle School is one of the many AISD schools getting a new look. Bond Construction Director, Cindy Ray said, "We're  doing a complete renovation of the school which includes renovating all of the classrooms, expanding the cafeteria, all new finishes, throughout the classrooms, upgraded it, new exterior windows and it will look like a brand new school when you walk in." view article arw

The Hart Independent School District's school board is weighing the possibility of a bond election in the spring of 2019. At a meeting last week, board members suggested the top priorities for the money would be to pay for roof repairs on both the secondary and elementary school buildings. view article arw

The Tomball ISD board of trustees authorized superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora to finalize contract negotiations with several architectural firms for projects associated with the 2017 bond. During a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the board also approved an amendment to a contract with Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. for an increase in the lump fee of over $1 million. view article arw

Conroe ISD dedicated its newest intermediate school at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 9. The dedication of Katherine Johnson Clark Intermediate brought together the students, community, and namesake in a touching program highlighting the importance of education. The program included participation from Mrs. Clark’s own children, who led the pledges, and students, who shared about a new character trait program at the campus. The Clark Intermediate Choir also sang Mrs. Clark’s favorite song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Board President Mrs. Melanie Bush and Superintendent Dr. Curtis Null spoke about the importance of the formation of the new school community and its lasting impact before the namesake herself addressed the audience. view article arw

Ore City ISD trustees agreed Monday to hire a construction manager for the district’s band hall renovation. Instead of hiring a construction company through a sealed bid process, board members opted to hire a “construction manager at risk,” Superintendent Lynn Heflin said. Administrators are “getting close” to finalizing the band hall’s design, he said. “We’ll have scoring criteria we’ll use to select a company that will serve as the construction manager and then they will have (subcontractors) working underneath them. They give us a guaranteed maximum price, and we negotiate with the company we select,” Heflin said. view article arw

The board of trustees for Gladewater ISD have voted to renovate the former Broadway Elementary School. Central office employees were forced to move into the former school earlier this month after roof leaks forced them out of their West Gay Avenue office, Superintendent Sedric Clark said. Trustees agreed Monday to request qualification statements from architectural and engineering firms to remodel Broadway Elementary, he said Wednesday. Board members initially considered starting the project later as Clark presented options to them in October, each escalating in cost and in how many departments would relocate to the former school. view article arw

Four Texas-based architectural firms will lead projects included in Pflugerville ISD’s recently passed 2018 bond. The decision came following a unanimous vote from the PfISD board of trustees, with Superintendent Doug Killian and Rob Reyes abstaining due to their involvement in the selection process of the final candidates. “These architecture firms, yes they can draw but they all bring different skill sets to it,” David Vesling, executive director of Facilities & Support Services for PfISD, said during a presentation to the board. view article arw

Nacogdoches ISD trustees unanimously approved making an undisclosed bid on property that could be the next central office for the district.  The offer is for the current Burke office at 4632 NE Stallings Drive. The 25,000 square foot building will become available in March when Burke moves into its new headquarters on University Drive, interim Superintendent Alton Frailey said.  “Our offer is to the board there. They will accept it or not accept it. I think they’ll accept it,” Frailey said. view article arw

Hidalgo breaks ground on $54M project

November 1608:40 AM

City leaders here broke ground on a $54.6 million project that will bring a new apartment complex, an IDEA school and a new cold storage facility to the area located near one of the city’s biggest attractions: the State Farm Arena. With the exception of a hotel and a few surrounding structures, much of the land near the arena lays vacant, but that is about to change with the help of several public and private entities that invested into what is being dubbed the Hidalgo Infrastructure Project 2018. Hidalgo was able to secure a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to provide infrastructure improvements to the area, including water and sewage lines. In return, the city pledged a $300,000 match contribution. view article arw

Lubbock Independent School District trustees voted 7-0 on Thursday morning to approve an order canvassing the votes and declaring the official results of the Nov. 6 bond election, which voters approved. Trustee President Zach Brady said 36,157 voters - about 75 percent - cast ballots in favor of the $130 million bond election aimed at safety and efficiency, while 12,143 voted against the proposition. view article arw

The McAllen school district board of trustees received an update Monday evening on the projects being financed with funds levied by the recently-approved Tax Ratification Election. In total, the district will be able to move forward with about $2.6 million worth of safety and security upgrades and about $4.7 million for student achievement, including the long-awaited science labs. The election, known as TRE, was approved by voters in September, allowing the district to move all of their tax pennies to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) slot rather than the usual division between this fund and Interest and Sinking (I&S). view article arw

For the past 2½ years, Splendora ISD has been working to find a site for the new elementary school called for in the 2016 bond election. The Tram Road site was purchased, but challenges to provide utilities to the site caused the District to seek property in the Splendora Fields area. The District, developer, and City of Splendora could not negotiate an agreement for a secondary access road to FM 2090 to the Splendora Fields site, so the District looked elsewhere. Additional acreage was purchased adjacent to the Tram Road site that has frontage on both Tram and Hill & Dale roads and is outside of Municipal Utility District 16. view article arw

Design and consulting specialists Stantec will put together an estimated $16.4 million bond proposal focusing on infrastructure improvements in Sweeny ISD after the school district’s trustees approved a contract with the company. Stantec will not charge the district for its services unless the bond issue is put on the ballot and passed by voters, Superintendent Tory Hill said. The board expects to place the measure on the May ballot. view article arw

Royse City residents filled the meeting room of the Ernest Epps Education Service Center on Monday night and celebrated the namesakes of two campuses in the Royse City Independent School District. Ouida Baley, wife of former-Royse City Mayor Jerrell Baley, served the district for 33 years as an educator and bus driver. Baley, who was well-known in the community for her passion for service, died in February 2014. view article arw

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees decided on the exterior style of the North Grove Elementary campus during a workshop Monday afternoon. After that decision was made, the board was then updated on traffic studies to possibly implement school zone signage and lights at various campuses. Corgan vice president David Safir presented four exterior designs of the North Grove Elementary campus during the open meeting. The first was a classical style resembled the Waxahachie High School. However, Safir did mention the “challenge is bringing it down to a kid-scale.” An art deco-style was then presented, which was similar to the original Marvin Elementary. The third design presented was a “prairie style” that resembled some of the houses built in Waxahachie. view article arw

A letter the Navy sent to the CCISD superintendent in March outlined the noise and safety concerns about the location of the new Mary Carroll High School campus. The land for the new school campus is about a half mile away from the edge of Cabaniss Field where Navy pilots train. The Navy’s concern is a portion of that campus is in a designated accident potential zone, which is where a Navy pilot is most likely to crash if there is a mishap. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD administrators have started the process of creating a long-range planning committee to assess district needs to be considered for a potential bond election in May. CFISD Superintendent Mark Henry said at a Nov. 12 board meeting that the purpose of the committee would be to develop a long-range plan recommendation to meet the district’s needs through 2025, including new campuses, facility renovations, security upgrades and technology. The plan would take population growth and student needs into consideration, Henry said. view article arw

Nacogdoches ISD trustees will consider making a bid on the current Burke office on Northeast Stallings Drive for use as district administrative offices during Thursday’s regular meeting. In an open session that begins at 6 p.m., trustees are expected to make a bid on 5.22 acres at 4623 NE Stallings Dr. “The school district is going to make an offer to purchase the Burke building that will be vacated sometime early next year,” NISD spokesman Les Linebarger said. “At this moment we don’t want to make the offer public because we don’t want somebody to outbid us for it. Once we have a contract, the purchase price will be made public.” view article arw

Homeless youth in Dallas have a new place to go to take showers, do laundry and find assistance. Once an elementary school, the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center opened its doors Tuesday as a drop-in center for anyone age 14 to 21 who's struggling with homelessness.  “We’ve brought together segments that have been working together on homelessness for decades and put them under one roof,” said Jorge Baldor, founder and president of After8toEducate. “Where one service ends, another begins.” view article arw

San Angelo ISD leaders are trying to figure out how to pay for some items listed on bonds that voters rejected twice this year. During a meeting Monday, Nov. 12, the board and district leadership discussed the most pressing needs, which range from building upgrades to security enhancements, and how to fund those projects. view article arw

Eustace ISD officials have claimed victory after they learned that 18 provisional ballots had not been counted, meaning that the official numbers will change but not the result. “The board of trustees and I would like to thank the voters for supporting this bond proposal,” Superintendent Coy Holcombe posted on the district's website. “It is a great step forward for both the students and the entire EISD community. You have my commitment and the commitment of the board of trustees to continue being good stewards of your money as we move forward with the construction projects.” view article arw

It is big, beautiful, and brand new, and it — The New Summerfield Coliseum — is officially open for business. The 900-seat arena, located on Hwy. 110 South adjacent to the New Summerfield Athletic Complex, had its formal dedication late Friday afternoon, just a few minutes before the Lady Hornet and Hornet basketball teams took to the court to take of teams from Kennard in the first official varsity games to be played inside the new structure. The citizens of New Summerfield passed a $15 million bond issue in May 2015 to fund the new arena, as well as for some other enhancements to some of the New Summerfield Independent School District educational buildings. view article arw

The Georgetown ISD board of trustees named the two new elementary schools and the district central office Nov. 12. The board unanimously approved the buildings to be named Wolf Ranch Elementary School, Everett L. Williams Elementary School and Georgetown ISD Administration and Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning. Wolf Ranch Elementary will be located in the Wolf Ranch development south of SH 29. The building of the school was authorized through the 2018 bond and is expected to be open fall 2020 to relieve overcrowded classrooms at Pickett Elementary School. Everett L. Williams Elementary is named after “Pop” Williams, the former Georgetown High School principal and namesake of the former elementary school.  view article arw

New science labs at White Oak High School could welcome young brainiacs within a couple of weeks as renovations fueled by a $19 million bond near completion. “We’re planning to go Thursday for our (city certificate of occupation) at the high school,” engineer Shane Johnson told trustees Monday. “Hopefully, we’ll get our C.O., and y’all can start moving furniture in Thursday or Friday.” view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt says the community is showing interest in a school bond. Like some school board trustees and Henry Florsheim, President of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce. Florsheim said good schools are deciding factors for both businesses and people, adding our school facilities are holding back our economic development efforts. “Many people including myself are anxiously awaiting a proposal from WFISD,” said Florsheim. “Seeing so many of our peer communities take positive steps to improve their school facilities just ramps up the urgency for us.” view article arw

The middle school will be within Meridiana's boundaries and the high school will be adjacent to the community. Both schools are part of a $480.5 million bond package that passed Nov. 6. view article arw

Nearly a week later, the dust has settled on the election. Winners, losers and everyone in between have been decided.  One of the biggest winners was the Abilene ISD bond, which picked up a substantial amount of support in the community in one of the most voted-upon bonds in recent history. view article arw

After voting to spend the remaining $54.1 million of its voter-approved 2008 bond funds on the first phase of a second district high school, Hutto ISD now faces crucial decisions on facility management, financing and property tax mitigation. The decision to use up what was left of HISD’s capital infrastructure money on a ninth-grade center—the first phase of the larger high school project—now opens the door for the district to explore calling a bond election in May or November 2019. “If you build a ninth-grade center, well, it kind of opens a door,” HISD Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas said. “The only way to build the next phase of that second high school is to go out to bond. But we want to be careful with how we roll that out.” view article arw

Gladewater ISD trustees will consider action Monday regarding the district’s administration building. Staff members were forced to temporarily move to the former elementary school because of leaks in the roof, Superintendent Sedric Clark said last month. view article arw

The Ore City ISD board of trustees Monday will consider hiring a contractor through a sealed bid process for renovation of the band hall.  Superintendent Lynn Heflin said last month that the district should have a contractor lined up by March.  Before the meeting, the board will have a public hearing on the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System score. The hearing is set 6 p.m. Monday in the boardroom, 100 Rebel Road, Ore City. view article arw

The Spring ISD board of trustees got a first look at plans for three ninth grade centers as part of the $330 million bond that voters approved in 2016. The three new centers for high schools Dekaney, Spring and Westfield will help alleviate overcrowding at all three campuses. view article arw

The Southside Independent School District’s $17.25 million bond proposition failed Tuesday night. In final returns, the proposal lost with slightly less than 46 percent in favor. In Southwest ISD, by contrast, a proposed $75 million bond was overwhelmingly approved with more than 68 percent of the vote, better than a 2-1 margin. view article arw

Voters gave the go-ahead to move forward with the construction of a new school campus in Petersburg. Now the next step for the district is to canvas the election and then wait until Jan. 1 to evaluate how the construction of the Hale Wind Project is coming along, said Petersburg ISD Superintendent Drew Howard. There were happy celebrations when he got the phone call Tuesday night that voters passed the $27,135,000 in bonds for the construction, renovation, acquisition and equipment for the district, Howard told The Herald Wednesday morning. view article arw