‘We’re Rolling’: Kilgore ISD Goes Forward with Bond Project Plans | Local news

KILGORE – Kilgore ISD Superintendent Andy Baker has said he could make a recommendation by the end of this month on a construction company linked to the 2021 bond projects.

The administrators recently discussed the progress of plans to build a new high school and improve the football stadium and the district primary school.

Kilgore voters approved two bonds totaling $ 113 million in November, and the funds are expected to be used to build a new high school in Kilgore and renovate and repair the RE St. John Stadium and Chandler Elementary School.

“At the end of the day, we roll,” Baker told board members.

There has been a lot of interest in the district’s bid requests, he said, and administrators will be able to review requests from construction companies. The administrators then choose the finalists for the project and interview the companies. Baker said he could make a recommendation to the board by the end of January.

The Chandler Elementary project will focus on renovating the decades-old campus to be more energy efficient with new HVAC systems, windows and other features. Baker told administrators that a campus tour revealed that the planned renovations would not require as many new windows as initially thought, as many classrooms already have new double-glazed windows installed.

“The project has gone from replacing all of those campus windows to now we’re replacing, give or take, about half of those classroom windows,” Baker said. “We’re going to ask the (contractors) to come back and touch up every window, even if it’s one of the good ones, to look outside, to close it, the nine meters while they’re here, but this This is what the project looks like for the best.

Baker said the Chandler project could be completed by the start of the next school year and that much of the work, especially the installation of new HVAC units, could be completed during spring break and holidays. evenings and weekends.

The RE St. John project will include the addition of ADA accessibility upgrades and may also include new bathrooms, concession stands, a ticket office and a “halftime house” for student-athletes. The stadium is also expected to receive new turf on the playing field, although this item is covered by a standard budget item, and not by the $ 4 million allocated to stadium improvements in the bailout package. Baker said the new sod installation will begin this summer after graduation.

Baker also discussed the possibility of hiring an in-house construction director to oversee the high school construction project. As part of the quote request process, companies applying for the construction contract must provide their own director, but Baker said some larger school districts working on more complex bond issues have hired their own internal directors.

“I don’t think we need it, and I don’t recommend that we have one, but I just didn’t want to not talk about it,” he said.

“We have very qualified guys. Your HVAC guys, your electricians, your plumbers, they’re top notch. They are available to review plans and work with us. They are top notch people. I am convinced that even among the companies that have already called and got a tender, there are some solid construction companies out there that have a very good reputation. Honestly, I don’t think we need it, but I wanted to talk about it, ”Baker said.

Plans for the actual layout of the new high school are still underway, Baker said, and district administrators have held several meetings with architects to discuss possible building plans. The plan should take into account the number of classrooms needed and the number of students the district expects to enroll in the coming years.

The plan is to demolish much of the original high school structure, which was first built almost 100 years ago, and build a new, modern campus structure in its place. Initial plans for the new campus call for a three-story main structure with several academic wings, as well as a new gymnasium, auditorium and other campus structures. However, the actual layout of the new construction is not yet finalized and is still being worked out in meetings with the architects.

If all goes according to plan, the district is planning a three-year construction phase, which could see a new high school completed and ready to open by the end of 2024. However, Baker said it was only estimate and unforeseen delays. , especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could easily add six months to the schedule.

KISD has set up a website with information on the surety bond and the work planned for the future at www.kilgoreisdbond2021.com.

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