Kilgore ISD trustees gave the go-ahead Monday to Champion EMS’ plans for a new ambulance substation on school district property.
At a regular board meeting, Champion EMS Chief Operations Officer Arnie Spiers presented trustees with two plans: one for a new right of way to allow the substation sewer access and one for the design of the station itself.
Spiers said the nearest sewer connections are situated across the roadway from the planned station site, but that would require crossing Hwy. 259 A proposed solution is an easement allowing the station to use another sewer connection located near a storm drain on school property.
“We’ve looked at several different options of how they could do it. This one was the best by far for them and us,” said Revard Pfeffer, KISD chief financial officers.
Spiers then showed the board drawings of the substation’s design. The building will include a triage area, one ambulance bay, a kitchen, day room, bedrooms for EMS staff and ADA-compliant restrooms. The building will be a tan color with a dark brown trim, similar to the Hwy. 31 Champion EMS substation.
Spiers said the facility is intended to house one ambulance and be staffed by one paramedic and one EMT at all times. However, the building is designed to allow expansions, including the addition of more bays and more quarters for medical personnel.
Both items were approved by the board. This substation has been in the works since 2017 when it was first approved. Delays arose when Champion EMS asked the city of Kilgore to alter their provider contract with Champion to coincide with the 10-year property lease from KISD. At a September board meeting, Spiers said he hoped the new station would be completed by spring 2019.
Other action items taken up by the board included rescheduling the next regular board meeting for Dec. 17 at 6 p.m and passing a minor budget amendment. Trustees moved the meeting because, if scheduled normally, it would fall on Christmas Eve. The budget amendment, described as a “housekeeping issue” by Pfeffer, affected the budget for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2018. It included moving $150,000 from the facility maintenance fund to the security fund to pay for the approved access control system at Kilgore High, adding the expenses of the dual-credit program with Kilgore College into the budget and accounting for transportation funds which will be needed if the district is able to hire a new mechanic.
Trustees also approved an audit report at the meeting which indicated the district is in good financial standing.
Three students were honored at the meeting.
James Lee Gibson, II, was awarded his high school diploma after completing graduation requirements through the Gateway program, an option for students who don’t earn a diploma in the traditional way.
Former KHS principal and Gateway Coordinator Greg Brown said Gibson overcame difficulties to earn his diploma.
“Jimmy started at Kilgore High School and was having some success there but it came to a point where he didn’t come to school anymore,” Brown said. “Last year, he came back and things were going very well. In the fall semester, he was involved in an accident that just about killed him. He wasn’t able to come back to school the rest of the fall semester. In January, Jimmy came back and we got him in the Gateway program. This young man worked extremely hard.”
Brown said Gibson wanted to obtain his diploma not only for himself but also to set an example for his two young sons.
Two other students were recognized at the meeting as KHS Students of the Month. Carmen Velasco was unable to attend the meeting due to her work schedule but Principal Charles Presley said she plans to attend KC or Tyler Junior College and become a licensed vocational nurse. She is a member of the National Honor Society and competes in cross-country and coaches soccer.
Demetrio Baldazo was also recognized as a Student of the Month. He is a student worker at the campus office and Presley described him as a dependable hard worker. Baldazo plans to attend KC and study process technology. He owns his own lawn care business and is in the top ten percent of his class.