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Scope of work, budget approved for MHS renovations

MISSION—The approval of scope of work and budget for the Mission High School Phase III renovation project was decided at the Mission Consolidated Independent School board meeting on April 10. After months of discussion over proposed MHS changes the board is moving forward with a new scope of work and entering negotiations with ERO Architects.

Under the 2008 bond, the MHS construction project was budgeted at $18,387,424 with a construction budget of $14.4 million, according to MCISD Executive Director of Maintenance/ Facilities/ Construction Rick Rivera.

The original scope of work for the project only included renovation items like re-roofing and lighting upgrades.

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Alton hosts ‘Field of Dreams’ adaptive tee ball

20130406 Alton Adaptive Baseball  6003ALTON—Early this month on a Saturday morning, special needs children yelled joyfully, smiling as they ran across home plate for the first time. Their parents cheered from the sidelines as these children got the chance to do something most kids take for granted – playing a game of baseball.

The Alton Sports Authority is attempting to organize an adaptive baseball league for kids with special needs. The league would allow children with various disabilities to participate as they receive one-on-one assistance from volunteers.

To kickstart the league, the Alton Sports Authority teamed up with Barracudas Sports Complex to host an adaptive baseball game on April 6 at the SSG Bradley Espinoza Ball Park in Alton. They called the game the “Field of Dreams.” The event was designed to allow these children with special needs to a morning long event of adaptive tee ball – on a level they could enjoy. The participants were able to experience teamwork, and develop motor skills using a bat and ball.

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Actress Marisa Quinn visits Mission High School sophomores

20130412 MHS Actress visits campus AF 6242 featureMISSION—Hard work really does pay off. That was the lesson Mission High School sophomores learned last Friday as actress Marisa Quinn, known for her role as Huilen in the Twilight Saga: “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” visited the school as a reward for their efforts on recent exams.

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Sharyland enhances campus security

20130411 Sharyland-HS-Security DY 0378In light of recent concerns about school security and the safety of the students, Sharyland ISD is taking steps to restrict access of unauthorized visitors.

On Good Friday, Sharyland ISD installed an extra set of glass doors at the entrance of Sharyland High School as a barrier between the exterior doors and the school hallways.

While the district has already installed similar security doors at three other campuses – both junior highs and John Shary Elementary – recent concerns about securing campuses against intruders has caused the district to examine each of their 11 campuses. Due to the building configuration, it has been relatively easy to add a second set of doors for added security at some campuses. However, many of the elementary school campuses have a very open design, making the task more difficult. The district is weighing the options and may decide to just replace the entrance locks with magnetic locks at those campuses. This could allow the doors to remain locked to unauthorized visitors during the school day.

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LJISD moving into new buildings soon

20130408 LJISD CNS PD Walk-Through CAB 0023LA JOYA — Members of the Child Nutrition Services and the Police Department in the La Joya Independent School District will be moving into their new buildings soon.

The buildings are substantially complete, only waiting for the fire marshal to view the sites before allowing them to enter.

Superintendent Alda T. Benavides said having the new Child Nutrition Services building would keep material organized.

The training room will give employees the opportunity to do their training onsite, instead of needing to conduct a Saturday training or holding a training at a school.

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City of Mission accepting applications for Housing Assistance Program

The City of Mission is currently accepting applications for the Housing Assistance Program for fiscal year 2013-14. The program, funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proceeds, offers either reconstruction or rehabilitation of homes of low- to moderate-income residents of the city whose homes are in dire need of repair to meet standard codes.

Joanne Longoria, Community Development director for the city, said $718,000 is available this year for approximately 20 housing assistance projects. The cost of a typical home rehab is $25,000. Such projects can include repairs to electrical, plumbing and roofing systems. Home reconstruction could cost as much as $55,000, depending on the size of the home and program eligibility.

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City of Alton writes off $281,520 in sewer fees

ALTON—The City of Alton Commission on April 9 approved write-offs of $281,520 in past-due, uncollected sewer fees. The fees have accumulated since 2005, and had never been billed by Sharyland Water Supply, which had made the monies presently uncollectable.

“This is basically a cleaning of the books that was recommended by our auditor,” City Manager Jorge Arcaute said. “It creates a more accurate record; we don’t want to live under the illusion that we are going to get this money at some point.”

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