Baseball field project bids are double what expected
Some Rockdale school trustees are hoping the major renovation-expansion project at the RHS baseball field hasn't been called out before it even got up to bat.
Supt. Dr. Howell Wright told board members Monday bids had come in "well over" budget and that administrators will be meeting with the project's construction manager at risk to try and re-design the project.
Trustee Lee Jenkins called the development "disheartening."
While bid totals weren't discussed at the meeting, Jenkins asked "how could we be 100 percent wrong?"
The project had been budgeted in the $750,000 range.
Meeting in regular session in the Central Administration Building, board members also heard a report on high school career technology education and okayed a change to the 2009-2010 calendar.
In September a split school board okayed the project on a 4-2-1 vote.
It called for new fencing, light poles, concession stand-pressbox, restrooms and more. Athletic administration offices currently in the Tiger Field weight room would move to the new complex.
Bartlett-Cocke General Contractors of San Antonio was hired as construction manager at risk.
"We hope in a couple of weeks we'll be able to have a re-design that allows us to begin building this year (in time for 2010 baseball season)," Dr. Wright said.
"Personally, I don't want to rush anything we might regret later on," he added.
"This is not the best time of year to begin a building project," trustee Wayne Fisher, who is in the construction business, said.
"I just don't want to see us sacrifi ce content," Jenkins said. "I'd hate to see a building not go up or a fence not be included."
"I think the biggest issue is the restroom facility," Dr. Wright said.
Board members were actually scheduled to vote on issuing a construction contract for the baseball field in a called meeting Friday, Oct. 9, but it was cancelled after the higher-than-expected bids were received.
If a re-design is proposed, the school board "will still get the final say," according to Dr. Wright.
At the September meeting in which the original project was approved, two board members cited cost concerns and voted against the project while one abstained.
The vote to hire a construction manager at risk, during the same meeting, was approved 4-3.
Rick Vaculin, department head, led several teachers and students in a presentation on the high school's Career and Technology courses.
Vaculin said RHS students are able to take career-oriented courses which will translate into college credit at 62 community colleges statewide including Blinn and Temple College.
He said currently there are 239 students taking agriculture sciences courses at RHS.
There are actually 280 enrollments with some students taking more than one class. He gave other career tech enrollments as follows:
Business, 135; CTE science, 88; family consumer science, 81.
Board members approved a plan to shift a planned half-day of instruction on the 2009-10 calendar from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8.
Penny Curry, assistant superintendent for instruction, said the change was to facilitate the junior-high and intermediate campuses hosting district UIL academic competition that day.
In other business, board members:
• Heard Curry report 100 percent of Rockdale ISD teachers were classified as "highly qualified," according to federal standards.
• Named board member Lisa Gerthe to School Health Advisory Council.
• Got an update on the final stages of the RISD building project.
• Accepted the 2009 tax roll as presented by Karl Kacir, assistant superintendent for business.
DEDICATIONS, RHS OPEN HOUSE SET NOV. 18TH
A dedication ceremony for all buildings constructed from the 2007 RISD bond election will be held at the high school on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Supt. Dr. Howell Wright made that announcement Monday during the October school board meeting.
The hour-long ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with tours of the new high school following.
"We will probably schedule another RHS open house in the evening for people who cannot attend the Nov. 18 event," Dr. Wright said.