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Cumby ISD Trustees Canvass May 1 Bond Election Returns, Hire Architectural Firm

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May 1 and May 6, 2021, were historic days for Cumby ISD. The voters approved two bond propositions for a new high school and ag shop, and facilities improvements at the other campuses, and a new track last Saturday. Cumby ISD Board of Trustees followed that up on Thursday night with the canvassing of the vote from the May 1 bond election and approval of a contract for the design and other documents related to the school bond projects.

Cumby ISD Board of Trustees President Jason Hudson

Cumby ISD Superintendent Shelly Slaughter read the official results of the May 1 two-proposition bond election during the Thursday evening school board meeting. A total of 61.40 percent voted for Proposition A for facilities improvements and construction of a new high school and ag building, and 38.60 percent of Cumby ISD voters opposed it. A total of 60.67 percent of Cumby ISD voters were for Proposition B, to construct a new track, leaving 39.33 percent against the proposition.

The board voted unanimously 6-0 to accept the count as officials and proceed with the bond process. Proposition A allows the district to obtain $7.34 million in bonds to construct a new high school, convert the current secondary campus to a junior high or intermediate facility, renovations at the elementary campus to include additional security upgrades such as fencing and address drainage issues.

This will achieve one of the goals to fence the elementary campus, according to CISD Board member Tony Aguilar.

This also will increase the CISD tax rate from $1.14 to $1.45 per $100 property valuation. Proposition B allows the district to obtain up to $600,000 in bond funds to construct a new track and increases the tax rate up to $1.47 per $100 property valuation. For more information about the bond proposals, click here.

While the adoption of the order canvassing the May 1 election returns was being signed, Board President Jason Hudson read an appreciation letter received from the family of Cumby ISD kindergarten teacher Katy Romans, who he described as “a force along with so many other people” and teachers in helping get the word out as a “social networker” and direct conversations with others.

“I wanted to say thank you for all the hours and blood, sweat and tears – I’m sure tears – that all of you have put in. Your time away from your families took so much effort on your parts. Getting this bond to pass is a major positive for all of our kids for years to come. Ya’ll are awesome! Thank God for you and what you do.”

The Katy Romans family

Hudson suggested keeping the Facilities Committee, who lead the charge on the bond proposals, involved in the planning process to offer suggestions and recommendations as the district moves forward with the improvements, additions and renovations to be funded with the bonds.

The process leading up to the bond election and proposals is 8 years in the making, including assessments by the facilities committee of district needs and one failed bond election in 2019. Hudson offered thanks and appreciation to the committee and taxpayers for believing in the board, and administrators, and supporting the bond proposals and students.

Cumby ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Marsha Krotky

Cumby ISD Board also approved on a 6-0 vote a contract with Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong (GLS) for  architectural, engineering, civil engineering and surveying services for the construction of the new high school, junior high and elementary renovations and other campus improvements approved by the taxpayers in the 2021 bond election. The firm charges 7.5 percent of the overall cost of construction, not including soft costs, to be paid from the bond funding, not the district fund balance.

The design and construction phases are expected to move quickly, especially on the track. Surveyors and soil test firms are expected to be presented for board very soon o get things moving as quickly as possible, with work targeted to begin within the next 45 days. Another CISD board meeting is scheduled later this month, with additional bond related items to be included on the agenda to be addressed by the school board.

GLS representatives also recommended the board also be considering the method of construction delivery, the next major part of the process, choices include construction manager at risk, construction management as agent, sealed bid proposals and general contractor. The board plans to have their attorney explained the different types of processes and potential liabilities, legalities and pros and cons of teach, then will be asked to select the construction delivery method that they believe will best fit the district’s needs.

In recent discussions, the idea of construction manager at risk was not necessarily favored; while giving the district more control it also makes the district more liable for decisions, and put more pressure not only on the school district but also the individual subcontractors who have to be individually bonded. The construction manager at risk would assume full liability for any control issues for the project. When the new gym was built, the district use the construction manager as agent. Some plumbing issues arose, which resulted in some issues the school district had to deal with due to liability.

Cumby ISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Shelly Slaughter hold the approved and signed order canvassing the May 1 election returns; one board member was out of town but voted for the measure via teleconference.
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Author: Faith Huffman

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