Sue Fleming

The Freer Press

The Freer High School Criminal Justice class was recognized by the school board during the regular monthly meeting last Monday night.

Seniors Jaime Uribe and Martin Martinez spoke to the board on behalf of sponsor Rachel De Los Santos and other members who were unable to attend the meeting.

“We have members who placed first at law enforcement contest in Alice who are presently representing our school in other UIL events,” Cantu said.

Listing the class’s accomplishments, he said members had recently been certified in CPR and AED, a machine using electrical shock to restart a human heart. Prior to that training, they also received Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification.

Cantu said the class visited the University of Texas Health Science Center in February, exploring careers in the healthcare field and are currently working on the school’s emergency management plan, which involves research of the facilities, on-site inspections and updating emergency equipment.

He said in May, a presentation of “Suffering in Silence” victim’s awareness campaign will be given. This is a program used to promote safety on school and college campuses, as well as “Shooter On Campus” simulation training.

“We are excited about these projects and hope that the community gains some insight about our mission to help prevent crime,” Cantu concluded.

Randy Hohlaus of Kell Munoz Architects followed with a campus renovations status report.

Omar Salinas of Fulton Construction began with slide photos showing exterior foundation work in progress at the high school and gym areas.

Hohlaus said after receiving more cost review from Fulton, they found it will be more cost effective to build the gym dressing room area with a pre-engineered structure instead of load bearing masonry.

“This will be built like we’re building the gym, and will result in savings,” he said. He reported the old glass in windows of the high school will be replaced with new glass windows, and the outside of the buildings will be constructed of a base composed of tan masonry, with the upper siding composed of galvanized Freer blue metal.

“It will appear as a masonry building from the street,” he said. “It will be very appealing to the eye.”

Roofing details are ongoing with the elementary building, he said.

Hohlaus noted Phase 2 of the project includes options for the annex, the cafeteria, junior high, as well as renovations of the band hall.

The new annex building will be constructed directly behind the original annex with the cafeteria located to the right, he said, pointing to slide photos, with a plaza area in front of the new annex. Floor plans show entry into the annex will lead directly to the library facilities with district offices located down the left corridor. These will include offices of the superintendent, secretary, as well as a conference room and board/curriculum training room. The nurse’s office along with examining rooms will be located down the right corridor of the entrance.

The new annex complex will measure about 29,000 total square feet, Hohlaus said.

“This includes all of the outside weather protected, covered walkways that will connect to the high school,” he added. “The canopy walkways will lend a trellis like effect.”

Hohlaus then discussed various exterior color scheme options proposed for the new annex building with the board, explaining metal paneling is less expensive than masonry.

“Masonry is the best; it’s more expensive, but the metal we use will have a 20-year warranty. What we’ll use is a mix of masonry and metal,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of projects using it. It’ll be cost effective and will last.”

After discussion, the board unanimously voted to approve changing the minimum graduation plan credit requirement from 24 to 22 credits, which will only affect special education students.

Also approved by the board were signing agreements of new employees and the local drug testing (DFE) policy.

After meeting in closed executive session, the members voted to change substitute bus driver Yolanda Garza to part-time/full time status.

The following submitted resignations have been approved by Gonzales which include Brenda Garcia, Gloria D. Garcia – retiring, Rose Marie Trevino, Gracie Uribe-Cano – retiring, Brenda Walshe – retiring, Russell Wigginarcia, Anna Crocker, Raul Saldivar, Alfredo Acevedo and Abe Mendieta, to be effective at the end of this school year.

Attending the meeting were Larry Robertson, Saul Hinojosa, Roy Salazar, Edna Cantu, Mary Lou Garza, Christina Lichtenberger, Calvin Evans and Gonzales.