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ECISD purchases buses and copy paper, selects firms for campus HVAC upgrades

During a regular Tuesday meeting, the Edinburg Consolidated School District approved educational resources and an open bid for HVAC improvements on their elementary and middle school campuses.

The district will spend $52,695 on 800 book materials for Pre-Kindergarteners to learn Spanish as part of a bilingual summer program.

The item was the first of six financial-based topics.

The second involved purchasing multiple 2021 Chevrolet Collins Type A School Buses for the district’s Head Start Program. Eight buses, totaling $350,000, will be used across the district.

According to an ECISD employee, ECISD Board President Carmen Gonzalez, a state board member of Head Start and Migrant Education, made the bus purchase possible since they are ‘first come, first serve.’

“Through her tireless work, she was able to secure these buses for ECISD,” said the employee. “So, Ms. Gonzalez, thank you.”

The board applauded their president’s efforts.

“I didn’t buy ’em. I just exposed Dr. Salinas,” said Gonzalez. “I told him about this wonderful opportunity to [purchase], and it was going to be first come, first serve because there were two other districts that were going to bid on them. But we got them.”

Another necessary item, copy paper, was agreed to be purchased in bulk after seeking competitive sealed proposals on March 8.

Last year, the district spent $398,803.88 on copy paper. This year, their estimated expenses are at a $500,000 limit. Out of eight approved vendors, three of five Texan retailers are RGV-based.

“Let’s make sure our teachers get the paper,” said Board Member Letty Garcia.

Board Vice President Xavier Salinas echoed the statement.

“We get calls that they don’t [receive paper],” he said. “If you go to the office supply [store], they’re buying copy paper for themselves every weekend.”

A final item was approving sealed bids for HVAC system repairs across elementary and secondary district campuses.

Four firms were chosen for various schools, yet only three were listed: Ethos will work on J. Economedes High School for a cost of $30,069.91, Terracon will work on B.L. Garza Middle School at a rate of $27,000 and NV5 will work on Longoria Middle School for $30,795. All will be funded through emergency relief funds.

“These three vendors…I just noticed that NV5 is the only one that has a fixed fee and the other ones don’t,” said Board Member Miguel ‘Mike’ Farias. “These aren’t real numbers. The only real number is the fixed one, which is with NV5.”

Farias wanted the board to make sure that they voted on a fixed number and not a flexible estimate.

“Why is one able to give us a fixed fee and the other two are not?” He asked Director of Facilities Robert S. Gomez.

It was stated that the prices would once again be verified before coming back to the item.

“We’ll go back and verify that,” he said. “NV5 is an out-of-town vendor and um, they will provide us with one or two visits. If additional visits are needed, there’s that possibility of an additional cost.”

All favored the firms, and soon after, the meeting adjourned.

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