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MCISD committee discusses facilities upgrades

The findings of several Mission Consolidated Independent School District committees were discussed at the monthly committee reports meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 7.  Items discussed included a $150,000 upgrade for tennis court lighting at each high school, a new $260,000 intercom system at Mission Jr. High, final plans for a new $1.2 million swimming pool, and creating a new position for Director of Safety and Security.

No formal action is taken during committee meetings. Rather, formal action by the full MCISD Board of Trustees will be taken at next week’s board meeting.

MCISDlogoFacilities Committee
Under the facilities committee one item discussed in detail was the need for new lighting at the Veteran’s Memorial High School tennis courts.  
Additional lighting was already on the list of improvements to be made to the campus. However, the type of lighting planned was simply to light the courts and build a canopy over the courts. The lighting was not sufficient for competition and tournament playing events. Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said Coach Sanchez had expressed the opinion that if the district was going to do the project, it should be done right to cover the needs of tennis teams who are interested in competition play at higher levels. The budget for lighting was $31,000. The needed upgrades would bring the cost to between $150,000 and $190,000.

Lopez favored Sanchez’s recommendation that the court lighting be brought up to competition level.

This caused members of the MCISD Board of Trustees to ask what the level of lighting is at Mission High School.  Would the district have only one high school that had competition level courts? Would the VMHS tennis courts be like Tom Landry stadium and be shared for competition?

They were told Mission High School does not have competition lighting for that campus’s tennis courts. The discussion ended with the board recommending if funding could be found, the MHS tennis courts should also be given upgraded lighting as well.

Another item discussed at length was the need to upgrade the intercom system at Mission Junior High School. The base bid for the upgrading of the system to bring it into compliance with fire codes was $260,000.  However, this does not bring the system up to the standards that already exist in other newer campuses as it uses an intercom system with a box on the wall. Most newer secondary campuses have a telephone system instead.  This allows administers to make announcements from anywhere on campus including outside on playing fields, if needed.

An alternative to provide telephone intercoms for the campus was $150,000.

Discussion centered on the idea MJHS needed some “tender loving care” and would it be best to wait for the telephone system until renovations were done on the campus instead.  After discussion it was decided to add the telephone system to the current renovations.
The board was told the district would be receiving a $46,600 credit on a roofing project because the company hired to replace the roof decided the old roof could be repaired and covered with a new product instead of completely replacing the existing roof.

Final plans for the pool at Mission High School were reviewed. The project will cost $1.2 million and should be completed by the fall of 2017.

A new chiller system for the MJHS Science building was approved. The current system is not in compliance, overworked and out of date.

Finance Committee
The proposed tax rate for the 2016 school year is $1.3582 per $100 valuation. This includes $1.17 for maintenance and operations and $0.882 for debt service.
Under finance, two new positions were approved. One was for a Director for the Child Nutrition Program. Superintendent Lopez said there are so many mandates from the state and federal programs, a new person is needed to assure all mandates are being met. The second position was for an assistant public relations specialist.  Lopez said the district has added many new schools since Public Relations Director Craig Verley was hired and he needs assistance seeing the needs of all campuses are met.

The board was told there would be recommendations for new assistant principals for Salinas Elementary and the Waitz Elementary campuses made at the upcoming meeting in September.

Safety/ Security/Drug Prevention Committee
A new position for Director of Safety and Security for MCISD was recommended. It would be the duty of this person to oversee warehouse security and campus surveillance matters. Previously, this position had been combined with risk management under Director Sylvia Cruz. The superintendent recommended the position be split and two director positions be created instead of one.

Board members wanted to know to whom this director would report.  They suggested that since Ms. Cruz is already familiar with the workings of the safety and security division, the new position should be a coordinator’s position instead of a director. The new coordinator would then report to Cruz. Lopez okayed the recommended change.

Curriculum Committee
Requests for waivers for two half days for the 2017-2018 year were approved for the last day before winter break and the last day of the school year.
A second waiver request was for a modified school for those who had already completed state standards so they would be allowed to take testing periods off and come to school at noon instead.

Dr. Petra Treviño told the board all MCISD campuses met or exceeded state standards in the recent testing.

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