Officials review district needs in light of available funding

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With about $3.6 million in fund balance to use on projects across the district, the KISD board reviewed a list of short-term and long-term needs.

Among the most expensive needs are roof repairs, which require about $1.4 million throughout the district. Broken down into a three-year plan, though, the Spanish tile on the Kilgore High School roof is the most pressing, KISD Chief Financial Officer Revard Pfeffer said.

He presented a budgeted cost estimate of $584,970 for the project.

The process would include taking off the tile and the tar-felt roof protection underneath before replacing the tiles.

“In reality it’s in really good shape for as long as it’s been there, so what they plan on doing is taking that old tar-felt up and putting a 21st century product under it that will seal it and put the tile back down and replacing the tile as they go,” Pfeffer said.

Other roofs will then be addressed in a need-based order.

Another six-figure improvement will be updating the district phone system. (see Page 2)

While not quite as expensive as the roofs or the phones, the district will also make improvements to security cameras throughout the district, enhancing the image quality beyond what is currently in place.

The majority of the $33,627 budgeted cost is the installation.

Although not budgeted, trustee John Slagle requested attention be placed on the woodshop class at Kilgore Middle School.

The concern, he said, is that the dust from the class is being sucked into an air conditioning system not equipped to handle that load.

KMS was not constructed with a woodshop building or room because the class had closed at the middle school level and wasn’t re-started until a month before the school opened in 2013.

Slagle noted the building was not designed to grow, and now the district needs to address the harm the dust could cause the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system.

A couple of options, Pfeffer said, the district can consider is to move the class out of the main building into a temporary building or to move the class to an exterior-wall room so a ventilation system can be installed.

Updates to the district’s copier machines and document manager system also are not budgeted yet, but Pfeffer’s goal, he said, is to have both in place by the summer. The administrators are talking with teachers and leaders at each campus to determine the best plan to address the upgrades.

The track at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium and the KHS tennis courts were also addressed, but not on the short-term list.

The location of the current track limits the work that can be done and eliminates the prospect of turning the existing track into a regulation competition track without moving the stadium or taking over part of the adjacent street, which has utility and sewer lines underneath.

Assuming property was available, an eight-lane regulation track would cost between $800,000 and $1 million with KISD probably falling into the upper end of the spectrum due to the soil quality, Pfeffer said.

Lanes can be added to the KMS track for less money, but the problem comes with the logistics of having a high school track next to a middle school and accommodating parking and school drop-off and pick-up. More work would have to be done with the drainage, Pfeffer said.

To make the track near the stadium a practice track, Pfeffer said, would cost between $500,000 and $600,000.

The tennis courts, Pfeffer said, have never been on the list, but he found it had been about 15 years since maintenance of the courts was addressed.

In total, he said, the district would have to spend an estimated $80,000 to get the high school tennis courts where they should be. The middle school courts are still under warranty because they are only four years old.

Updates to the administration building remain on the short-term list of capital needs and parking lot improvements. The parking lots are “not mission critical” and will be the project most likely to fall off the immediate list if time and funds run short.

The district is continuing to investigate the possibility of having a warehouse and transportation building and improving the KHS auditorium lights.

The district will also be working through the heating, air conditioning and ventilation needs throughout the district, noting some of the worst areas are the English and Spanish wings at KHS, which are on either side of the auditorium.

All budgeted items that are approved by the board will be brought back as budget amendments for approval.

“This is what we need,” Board President Dereck Borders said. “We need numbers.”

HEADLINE: KISD looks closer at district needs

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