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Summer projects at Mission CISD

With one school year nearing the end, Mission CISD already has summer projects lined up to prepare for the next school year. At the April board of trustees meeting, the school board approved contracts for the construction of security vestibules and a barbering studio, and the installation of playground equipment. 

SECURITY

Mission CISD hired 8A Builders to complete the security vestibule construction projects at five elementary campuses — Salinas, Cavazos, Midkiff, Bryan and Castro. The five schools are the last to receive security vestibules since the district began installing them at all campuses as an additional safety measure against possible intruders. 

Through a combination of proactive renovations, or as a part of original construction, Mission CISD spent the last few years addressing the need at the other campuses. Security vestibules were part of the design at Rafael Cantu Jr. High and Escobar-Rios Elementary when the district built them in the 2007-2009 timeframe. 

8A’s proposal was the lowest at $518,000 — about $135,000 higher than the district estimate. Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera said administration tried negotiating a lower price, but 8A stood firm on their proposal amount. The next lowest bid was $1.14 million from ReneWorks.

The board debated redoing the design or restarting the procurement process, but ultimately proceeded with the project at administration’s recommendation, despite the cost. 

“If we’ve waited this long, I think we need to move forward,” Board President Betty Mendoza said. 

Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez said these projects have been a priority for her since joining the district in 2018. 

“We’ve been waiting for five years since the minute I walked into the district and visited Veterans Memorial High School. I was appalled that we didn’t have vestibules in the district,” Perez said. “And then the pandemic hit, and that put a dent. We got some steam this year and completed some of them but we still knew that these vestibules that required the outside containment were the ones that were going to be at the end. Our children, our staff deserve to have those vestibules.” 

BARBERING STUDIO

The athletic dressing rooms at the old Mission High School gymnasium will become the new barbering studio on campus. With a proposed budget of $471,960, PBK Architects will design the space to replicate the Veterans Memorial High School studio.    

Mission CISD has been working with the Career and Technical Education department at MHS to establish a barbering program. But students need state-regulated facilities to earn their certification. PBK initially conducted an assessment to use portable buildings but learned the space would be too small to house the studio. 

Following a second assessment of the old gym dressing rooms, the district learned it was a suitable environment for the barbering program. The CTE department and MHS principals also approved the plan. 

According to Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera, MHS currently uses the dressing rooms to store textbooks, many of which the state discontinued. The district plans to offer the books to teachers before relocating them to a different storage area. 

PLAYGROUNDS

Eleven elementary campuses at Mission CISD will receive new playgrounds. The board of trustees awarded the contract to Playground Boss because they were the only vendor that submitted a proposal under the district’s $600,000 budget. Additionally, Playground Boss has material in stock, so they can start working on the project immediately. 

The district determined Midkiff, Escobar-Rios and Cavazos elementaries will not receive new playgrounds because they already have updated installations in good condition. But the other campuses have equipment that has deteriorated due to weathering and age. 

After looking at engineered mulch, rubber and turf surfaces, administration and the board opted for mulch for the new playgrounds, which was the most cost-effective, and what the district currently uses.

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