KILGORE — Kilgore ISD’s $55 million bond project will be underway soon as the district prepares to clear 103 acres of land to build a new Maude Laird Middle School and Kilgore Heights Elementary School.
The school board on Monday approved an $85,000 guaranteed maximum price to Longview-based RLM General Contractors, the company selected to oversee the district’s construction projects, to clear 103 acres of land at U.S. 259 South and County Road 186 to build the new schools. The approved price includes clearing the land and burning the leftover trees and brush.
The school district bought the property — the former site of a drive-in movie theater — to build the new schools which voters approved in this past May’s bond election.
The layout of the two campuses resembles a fan shape with the elementary school being in closer proximity to the U.S. 259 frontage and the middle school being built toward the back. Superintendent Jody Clements said it will be about another month before construction can begin.
In other business, the school board approved buying a new bus to replace one involved in a Dec. 6 wreck on U.S. 259 North near County Road 181. The district was reimbursed $9,375 from its insurance company for the bus, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Revard Pfeffer said.
The cost to repair the 8-year-old bus was estimated at slightly more than $12,000, but Pfeffer said there were concerns about whether the bus would be recertified for use. He also noted insurance companies depreciate the value of buses after 10 years.
Trustees opted instead to buy a new bus at a cost of about $79,000. The district plans to use the check from the insurance company and pull the other approximately $70,000 from its contingency funds. Pfeffer said the district will be left with a little more than $500,000 in contingency after the purchase.