Hallsville High School could get a new auditorium and the district could build a new elementary campus after trustees approved moving forward with a possible bond package valued between $46 million and $50 million.
Under the preliminary proposal, a new auditorium would be built at the high school campus on Cal Young Road, Superintendent Jeff Collum said. A new elementary campus would be built on land the district already owns at the intersection of Loop 281 and Page Road.
The district has two elementary campuses — one on Billie Martin Parkway and another on Galilee Road — and Collum said both are running out of space.
“If you look at historical data from 2009 to 2018, the district has grown 900 students total,” he said. “Our East Elementary has over 900 students at that campus; they’re at approximately 120% capacity. The North Elementary is at 99% capacity.”
While there are no code violations, Collum said campuses are having to be creative with utilizing space to accommodate growth.
Collum said the location of the possible new elementary campus would help with traffic flow and congestion in Hallsville in the mornings and afternoons during drop-off and pick-up.
The auditorium would be used by the theater department, band, choir, University Interscholastic League fine art programs, Bobcat Belles drill team and be open for community use, Collum said.
When the new high school opened in 2012, he said there were plans for an auditorium, but he is unsure why it was not built.
The district has scheduled town hall meetings 5 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1, 8 and 15 at the junior high school on Bobcat Lane to present plans and gather input from the community on the bond package.
Collum said the district is still working on finalizing other bond proposal projects, and the goal is to present a final plan to the board at the Aug. 19 meeting.
Also Monday district trustees also approved staff raises.
House Bill 3, also known as the school finance bill, mandates teacher and staff pay raises with the influx in funding that districts receive from the state.
Collum said 30% of the new funding sent to districts is mandated to be spent on staff compensation and salaries. And “Chapter 21” employees — teachers, librarians, nurses and counselors — are mandated to receive 75% of that money.
The Hallsville ISD board Monday approved using 36% of the new funding to boost staff salaries, Collum said.
Chapter 21 employees are paid on a scale based on experience, so the raises will vary, he said. For example, a Chapter 21 employee at step 0 made $35,855 in the 2018-19 school year. That employee level now will make $39,000, a $3,145 raise.
Campus attendance clerks, instructional aides and behavioral assistants will see a 12% raise. District and campus administrators excluding the superintendent, will get a 4% raise, and all other full-time employees will get a 7% raise.
Collum said the raises are the highest the district has ever approved.