High school construction schedule set

Parkhill, Smith, and Cooper Senior Architect Les Burke pauses for a photo at a recent Alpine ISD Board of Trustees meeting.

Alpine ISD Board of Trustees met on July 15, and heard a high school construction project update by Parkhill, Smith, and Cooper architect Les Burke.

Burke went over the bid proposal and estimated construction schedules for Alpine High School. Bids are due on Thursday, Aug. 20, and on Wednesday, August 26, a board meeting would be held to approve the contractor.  

Burke said the target start date for Phase 1 construction was Sept. 9. Phase 1 includes the new high school, elementary and middle school gym HVACs, and the high school gym and HVAC unit for an alternate girls practice gym, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 1, 2021, and final completion on Dec. 1, 2021.

Packing supplies and equipment and moving furniture to the new building is expected to be finished by Jan. 8, 2022.

Said Burke, “These dates are estimated at this point, and it depends on how fast the contractor can get the units together, and get them shipped to Alpine.”

From there, Phase 2 will begin. That includes asbestos removal and demolition of the existing high school building, with a substantial completion date set on or before June 30, 2022. 

In other news, Superintendent Becky McCutchen said the Texas Education Agency was requiring school districts to submit a plan for two types of remote instruction - synchronous and asynchronous - and board members approved.

McCutchen explained that asynchronous was remote teacher-assisted instruction in which elementary school students from third grade and up were required work remotely for three to five hours each day during any time of the day, and at the secondary levels for four to six hours a day. The synchronous plan would allow remote, live instruction as though the students were in the classroom.

McCutchen had spoken to Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dennis Bonnen and Chairman of the House Public Education Committee Dan Huberty, asking for leniency on the asynchronous plan because of issues with working parents or other scenarios, but parental involvement was required.

A draft district re-opening plan will be ready for administrator review on July 23, and sent out to parents and the community by Friday, July 31. As of press time, McCutchen also announced that Alpine ISD had about 800 students enrolled for the upcoming school year, down from 1,015 in the past year.

Finally, McCutchen discussed academic achievement and class ranking, and said that after meeting with high school Principal Justin Gonzales, a recommendation was issued to change the honors graduate designation to a cumulative four-year grade average of 92, up from the current 90, and requested board approval. Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the new policy.

A special Board of Trustees meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom video conferencing, and the next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 26 via Zoom.

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