Alpine ISD Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 20 with an announcement from Superintendent Becky McCutchen that construction on the new high school was one month behind schedule.

McCutchen cited several reasons for the delay, such as the permit process from the City of Alpine taking longer than expected, as well as subcontractors having difficulty getting equipment and supplies delivered in a timely fashion due to the coronavirus.

Over spring break the week of March 8-12, architectural firm Parkhill will be undertaking an inventory of furniture and fixtures in the current building, and McCutchen said there would be an added expense for the furniture that was not allocated in the budget.

She also reviewed change orders with Parkhill senior architect Les Burke that included alternate materials and the price breakdown.

McCutchen then presented the December financial report, as CFO Tucker Durham was out. According to McCutchen, there were discrepancies on the tax collection percentages and amounts issued by new Brewster County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Vega, who couldn’t be reached for clarification.

In other news, the board approved an order calling for a general election to be held on May 1 for Single Member Districts 1, 3, and 4, and providing for administration of the election. Trustees Eddie Natera, Billy Ray Laxton, and Rachel Carvajal have expired terms. Secretary to the superintendent Marsha Roach said she contacted the city to have the election held at the Alpine Civic Center, which is currently closed, but that a final determination would be made by Friday, Feb. 12. McCutchen said in the event the Civic Center is closed at that time, a new order would be issued for an alternate location. Brewster County Elections Administrator Lora Nussbaum will also work with Alpine ISD on that election.

In other news, Trustee, Dist. 6, Dr. Adrian Billings inquired as to how many district staff members had already been vaccinated for COVID-19, but McCutchen and the three principals indicated that numbers were not known.

Finally, McCutchen recognized and thanked trustees during Board Appreciation Month, which is celebrated at school districts across the state.

Said McCutchen, “Alpine ISD school board is responsible for an annual budget of $15.2 million, 940 students, 183 employees, and three campuses. As an A-rated school district, our board members play a vital role in allowing our students to be successful not only in the classroom, but also in numerous other activities.”

Associate Director of Texas Association of Rural Schools Leigh Ann Glaze then recognized McCutchen for her contributions as president of the Association for the past two years.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is set for Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the high school library.

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