Work on campuses will take more than two years

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Freer School Board members voted to approve Fulton Coast Con Contractors of Corpus Christi to serve as the construction manager at-risk of the school district's $22.9 million upcoming renovations project upon the recommendation of Kell Munoz Architects last Monday during the regular monthly meeting.

"After conducting extensive interviews, reviewing documentation concerning pricing fees and work proposals, checking references, we feel we have made a good selection," said representative Randy Hohlaus.

Work is estimated to take 25 to 33 months to complete, he said.

Afterward, Joe Fulton, chairman of the company, addressed the board.

"We've done a lot of school construction for some of the outlying areas," he said. "The most recent project was for a high school in Portland that involved 280,000 square feet."

Fulton said two men will be on site full time during the entire Freer ISD renovations project.

"We really appreciate your business and look forward to working with you," he said.

Superintendent Edgar Camacho afterward led a discussion regarding the new school board election law.

In 2006, the special legislative session produced Education Code Section 11.0581 requiring public school districts to hold joint elections, either with related municipalities on the May uniform date or with the respective counties on the November uniform election date.

Freer ISD, if planning to continue holding elections in November, must hold elections biennially with the county in even-numbered years, according to the law.

The district must first determine options, approve by resolution to change trustee terms, identify the transition method, make any short-term adjustments to current trustee terms as needed and establish the term for each sitting trustee as of Jan. 1, 2008 to be submitted to the Justice Department for pre clearance.

Terms for members who were elected in 2006 will expire in 2010 instead of 2009; and for those elected in 2004, terms will expire in 2008 instead of 2007 as to comply to the new law.

In order to make the transition, the board will have to take action by resolution to change from three to four-year terms no later than Dec. 31, and the transition must begin with the first regular election for trustees that occur after Jan. 1, 2008, according to the state mandate.

In other business, a proposal from Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson LLP in regard to 2007 property values study appeal contract was approved by the board as recommended by tax collector Sylvia Carrillo.

Following, Curriculum Director Maribel Perez presented the high school summary Campus Intervention Team (CIT) report to the board members.

Saul Hinojosa was appointed to serve as a delegate at the Texas Association of School Board (TASB) Convention with Roy Salazar as alternate delegate.

The following donations were approved by the board which were $4,000 from Straight Line Construction for the purchase of volleyball equipment, $1,000 from Devon to benefit the Vocational Agriculture program, $500 from Devon for the purchase of playground equipment and uniforms, $250 from Duval Well Service for football camp and $250 from Duval Well Service for volleyball camp.

After meeting in closed executive session, the board unanimously approved to hire Ann Janette Guerra as a paraprofessional.

During a previous special meeting, the board unanimously approved to hire Tony Hofler as a teacher, Crystal Martinez as a paraprofessional and Greg Ruiz as part time.

Attending the meeting were Larry Robertson, Edna Cantu, Mary Lou Garza, Chris Lichtenberger, Calvin Evans, Hinojosa and Camacho.