RISD building program winds up ‘in the black’

10 RHS seniors still need to pass exit-level TAKS for graduation
By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

The Rockdale ISD’s $32.4 million building program ended “in the black” by $7,365.31.”

J. P. Grom, representing LAN consultants, made his final report to Rockdale ISD trustees Thursday in the Central Administration Building.

Meeting four days late in Januar y because of Monday’s MLK holiday, board members also heard that almost 10 percent of this year’s senior class still needs to pass the state’s TAKS exit-level test to receive diplomas.


There was an air of celebration and Grom told board members LAN had met its goals on the building program.

“We wanted to maximize the buildings and return some balance, however small, to the district,” he said.

In 2007, voters okayed issuing $28.8 million in bonds for a new intermediate school, renovations and expansion of Rockdale High School, a new wing at the junior-high and new cafetorium at the elementary.

“This project has been monumental in size and scope,” board president James Birkhead said. “These buildings are a source of community pride.

“It almost leaves me speechless that we’ve been able to come this close on something where $32.4 million was spent.”

Standing ovation Trustee Lee Jenkins praised the project, noting the “awkward timing” of construction. While the facilities were being constructed Alcoa closed its Rockdale Operations smelter.

Board members commended former Supt. Walter Pond who was retained as a consultant for the project and the sizeable audience of visitors gave Pond a standing ovation.

“He was always here, looking out for the interests of the district,” Supt. Dr. Howell Wright said.

The street linking the new intermediate school to US 79 has been named Walter R. Pond Drive.

Exit TAKS scores

RHS Principal Chad Jones reported 10 seniors, from a 2009- 10 class of about 120 still need to master some portions of the exit-level TAKS test.

Jones said all seniors have mastered ELA (English Language Arts) but there are still six needing mastery of math, seven in science and two in social studies.

Numbers add up to more than 10 because some individuals still need to master more than one subject.

In other business, board members:

• Called the annual RISD board election for May 8. Terms expiring are those of Place 3, Michelle Lehmkuhl; Place 4, Lee Jenkins; and Place 5, board president James Birkhead.

• Discussed “streamlining” facilities use policies with Kacir, in light of the new facilities which have been available through the bond construction.

• Hired Cayce Stevenson as special education ELA teacher for the remainder of 2009-10.

• Heard a report on the district’s 2008-09 Performance Base Monitoring System and Annual Measurable Achievement Measurable Objectives.

• Conducted the annual Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) public hearing, a report centered on data gathered to compute the Texas Education Agency rankings which are released each August.


Karl Ka cir, assistant superintendent for business, said the $32,425,856 project broke down this way: • Bond funds plus interest, $30,788,645. • Funds provided by district for infrastructure, $1,000,000. • Interest income on infrastructure funds, $61,327. • Proceeds from sale of portable buildings, $190,000. • Other funds provided by district for items not in original bond plans (move of technology department into old librar y, canopy and courtyard renovation), $385,884.

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