Demolition work should begin this summer

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Randy Hohlaus of Kell Munoz Architects reported developments pertaining to Freer ISD's upcoming campus building renovations.

Hohlaus made the report during the regular monthly school board meeting.

Geotechnical engineers have been conducting soil surveys on the site of the campuses in order to confirm designs, he said.

Abatement consultants will also be doing surveys of the buildings, in terms of building demolition starting this summer beginning with areas of the high school.

Once the site is readied, portables will serve as temporary high school classrooms to be located behind the annex building.

Three additional classrooms also will be available which are located in the annex building, Hohlaus explained.

"All is preparatory to construction work," he told the board.

Completed terms of a status report of the design development phase, giving detailed estimates, describing all the materials and scope of work to a certain point including costs will be evaluated soon and will be given at the next board meeting, he said.

"We are looking forward to initiating work soon and at this point we haven't extended any monies to the construction administration - we are in an interim period," Hohlaus noted.

After discussion, board members unanimously approved the hiring of a Construction Manager-at-Risk and also approved the portable bid package and the issuance to bidders.

Following a pricing report presentation by Luis Elizondo-Thomson of Estrada Hinojosa and Company of Dallas, the board approved authorization of the issuance, sale and delivery of the $22.985 million bond that will fund the work.

The bond will be payable Aug. 15, Feb. 15, 2008 and each Aug. 15 and Feb. 15 thereafter.

"As you may or may not know, this is the largest financing ever done by the district and it is also the largest financing ever done in the county of Duval," Elizondo-Thomson said. "So it's a pretty historic thing. We are certainly honored and privileged to be a part of it."

Afterward, the board also unanimously approved to hire an investment advisor for the district.

Curriculum Director Maribel Perez followed with a presentation of the 2006-2007 High School Allotment Fund progress report.

Following discussion, the board approved the understanding of agreement with Pat Moore, CPA and John Womack and Company to continue to conduct audit services for the district.

After meeting in closed session, the board voted to hire as teachers Clementina Pulido, Arturo Guajardo, Armando Salinas and Veronica Elder; Amanda Salinas as Junior High counselor and Raul Saldivar as high school band director. Anna Garza and Michael Perez were approved as paraprofessionals.

During a special school board meeting held June 29, the board members unanimously voted to hire Alfredo Acevedo as junior high principal, Belinda Rangel as junior high counselor and Dr. Abe Mendieta as high school principal.

The board also voted to accept the resignations of Tracy Garcia, Sarah Todd and Jeff Scales.

Attending the meetings were Larry Robertson, Roy Salazar, Mary Lou Garza, Christina Lichtenberger, Edna Cantu, Saul Hinojosa, Calvin Evans and superintendent Edgar Camacho.