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Longview ISD OKs land purchase for school

By Richard Yeakley
Dec. 9, 2013 at 11 p.m.

Longview ISD trustees agreed Monday to spend $65,000 on about .7 acres of land near the site of the future Jodie McClure Elementary School that will connect the campus, once it is rebuilt, to Green Street.

The decision came during a meeting in which the school board also agreed to move forward in taking bids to repave the drive at Longview High School, but tabled a construction proposal for a meat processing lab.

Trustee Jud Murray made the motion to table approving the project because he did not know what local companies would be used in the project.

"As you know, I am in favor of working with local contractors and local business people as much as possible, and I don't have any information available to me from (the contractors), who their local contractors that they are going to be using are ... I would like to know who the subcontractors are and who they are proposing to use," Murray said.

While the board unanimously agreed to table the item until its January meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Lynn Marshall warned that delaying the decision may cause the meat lab not be ready by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

"We may have a little difficulty by delaying until then ... getting this thing ready in time before school starts," Marshall said. "Some of the contractors bid six months; some of them bid seven months. Depending on what kind of spring weather we have and how long the winter persists, if we don't turn somebody loose until February it is going to be doubtful."

If all goes as planned with the new McClure campus, it should be ready to open in time for the 2015-16 school year. Construction is estimated to take about 18 months for the estimated $23 million campus. It will be paid for with remaining 2008 construction bond funds, about $10 million, and the district's fund balance.

Trustees also gave Marshall permission to move forward in taking bids to repave the drive at Longview High School from the guard shack through the breezeway. When Marshall first floated the idea last month, he said an early estimate for the cost was that it would not exceed $900,000.

Trustee Chris Mack questioned Marshall's proposal to repave just to the breezeway, arguing that the area where the dumpsters sit on campus slightly north of the spot was in dire need of repair.

Marshall said after the meeting that he would seek bids through the area with the dumpsters.

In other business, trustees asked Marshall to come back with an adjusted plan after they chose not to approve about $100,00 in additional child nutrition furniture and equipment, some of which would have been used at the high school to build a Java Hut, a small coffee shop.

The trustees asked Marshall if there were any alternative uses for the child nutrition money and asked Marshall to present a slimmed down version of the proposed cafe.



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