By CHERIL VERNON
Westwood Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved $692,018 worth of improvements for the construction of tennis courts, batting cages and a softball field concession stand/restroom building during Monday’s regular meeting at Westwood Primary School.
The board approved the guaranteed maximum bids for the construction after hearing from Mark Strong of Scott & Strong Architects and Berry and Clay construction manager at-risk Britt Patterson, including $328,569 for tennis courts improvements (with post tension slab to reduce possibility of future cracking), construction of softball concession stand and restrooms for $275,341 and construction of batting cages ($52,714 for two baseball batting cages and $35,394 for two softball batting cages).
Mike Bentley was the lone board member to vote against the proposal. Board member Craig Nivens was absent.
Also during the meeting, WISD Technology Director John Folmer gave a technology report on the district’s “One-to-One Initiative” and other recent technology milestones.
Last year, the school district purchased 700 new Dell Latitude 10 tablets to allow for a 1:1 ratio of computers to students on the high school and junior high campus. Following the Labor Day holiday, the tablets were rolled out to the majority of the students.
Other items in the technology report included a Bring Your Own Device policy for students and staff, a new wireless infrastructure and new security cameras.
WISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman also gave a report to the board regarding the start of school activities and student enrollment. As of Sept. 5, enrollment was 1,599 students.
“Enrollment is down about 20 students from where it was this time last year, but our numbers are steadily increasing,” Lyman said.
Following close to an hour in closed session to discuss an administrative contract for Juliana Harmon and conducting a superintendent formative evaluation, the board reconvened in open session to approve Harmon’s administrative contract as a secondary assistant principal.
In other action, the board:
• REVIEWED the process for hiring a high school principal. The job will be open to all candidates, inside and outside of the district. A committee will be formed to screen applicants and another committee will interview candidates to find finalists for the board to approve.
Lyman told the board he would like to have finalist candidates selected before the November school board meeting.
• RECOGNIZED the students and teachers of the month at each campus.
• APPROVED the consent agenda, which included minutes of the regular board meeting on Aug. 12 and special board meeting and public hearing on Aug. 19; fund-raisers; August tax report; and signature cards for campus activity accounts.
• APPROVED resolution allowing Westwood ISD to join the ESC 12 E-Rate Purchasing service and adopt the ESC 12 electronic RFP policy.
• APPROVED transfer student waiver requests from a former employee.
• DISCUSSED future agenda items and the Texas Association of School Boards conference schedule.