Three board members were sworn in, and district Superintendent Becky McCutchen announced the end of masking at the May 19 Alpine ISD Board of Trustees regular meeting.
Trustees Dist. 1 Eddie Natera, Dist. 3 Nikki Ahrens, and Dist. 4 Jimmy Morris were sworn in by Marsha Roach, Secretary to the superintendent. Member Dist. 6 Dr. Adrian Billings, was absent from the meeting.
McCutchen then announced that the district-wide face covering requirement was now prohibited by law, per Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order issued on May 18. The order prohibits government entities, including school districts, from requiring face coverings. Consequently, the district will no longer require masks for any staff member, student, or visitor starting Friday, June 4.
McCutchen warned that face coverings were now optional, and the district could be fined up to $1,000 if any district employee attempted to require masks at any time.
In other business, McCutchen presented a construction update for May 10-14, stating that Alpine ISD Construction Specialist Paul Kucera had submitted a list of contractors for concrete, electric, plumbing, demolition, and more.
Imperial Construction Superintendent Frank Patton then continued with an overview of work performed in underground plumbing, electrical, and fire protection piping. Parkhill senior architect Les Burke announced that terra cotta and brick panels would be ordered from Germany, as there was no U.S. distributor available for the ones the board had selected in 2020. According to Jon Jones of Imperial Construction, the terra cotta panels would have an approximate backorder wait of 14-16 weeks.
Parkhill architect Allan Wolf provided extensive information on metal panels and fixture of walls, and presented architectural drawings and photos to show specific items needing repair. Burke and Wolf presented photographic renderings of the proposed terra cotta and brick panels in a variety of colors for the board to review. Board Vice President Mary McCallister then made a motion to approve one of the exterior finishes, and trustees approved it unanimously.
Next up was a financial report by McCutchen, who announced that new Chief Financial Officer Clay Braden would begin his duties on May 24.
She also announced the district received about $1.6 million in federal funds for the American Rescue Plan, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Those funds were provided so school districts could safely reopen and address the impact of the coronavirus. McCutchen said the district’s reopening plan would be revised to meet guidelines for the award. Several data points and some requirements would need to be submitted by July 27 to receive the funding.
The next regularly scheduled Alpine ISD Board of Trustees meeting is set for Tuesday, June 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Alpine ISD Administration Building board room.