By Rodney Hays

Editor

At the last board meeting, Prosper ISD trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price for additional classroom buildout at Prosper High School.

When the high school opened in 2009, many of the classrooms were left unfinished until the space was needed. The board approved a guaranteed maximum price of $5.7 million for the buildout. The buildout will include a vet tech area, dance area renovations and more science labs, bringing the total number of labs to 16.

The project will be funded through the District’s general fund balance since we still do not have the necessary appraised value to sell bonds. A $710 million bond package passed voter approval in 2007. Initially $130 million was scheduled for the new high school. Phase one cost $112 million. The second phase will cost about $7.5 million and the third phase (a PISD natatorium) is still to be determined and will be based on bonding capacity.

Construction will begin in November and should be ready by the time schools starts in August 2014. Pogue Construction / PBK Architects – the same team from the original construction will oversee the construction.

According to PISD superintendent, when the high school was built the district paid approximately $185 per square foot but should get the second phase done much cheaper.

"[The current] PHS was built over five years ago when the economy was strong and construction prices were at their highest," Watkins said. "PISD minimized future cost by building in all of the appropriate infrastructure — capacity — when the building was originally constructed. Wiring will just have to be extended into the new areas, erect the appropriate walls, and purchase all of the necessary furniture and equipment for the additional 50,000 square feet. This project is approximately $120/sq ft, which is significantly less than the original construction cost.

"Admittedly, based on the scope of construction in general this is not normally the case in phased projects, but the economy of the time drives those figures more than anything else."

Watkins said the initial plan was based on bond capacity.

"We initially built what our bonding capacity could support (Phase I) – phasing it based on student growth and bond capacity. Phase II will be completed prior to the beginning of school in August 2014. Phase III will be completed based on the availability of funds at some point in the future," he said.

In other business:

n The board heard a presentation by PISD business manager Rusty Craig on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report from the Texas Education Agency. PISD scored a perfect score and received the highest rating of Superior Achievement.

n The board approved the consent agenda, which included the enrollment update. PISD is up 776 students compared to the same time last year, which brings the total enrollment to 6,402.

n The Board approved the Financial/Investment/Tax Reports for

September, 2013 as prepared by Rusty Craig and the Collin County Tax Office.

As of the end of September, the district had approximately $41.6 million ($24.4 million of which is general fund with the rest dedicated to construction/capital and/or I&S).

District financial reports can be viewed in their entirety on the PISD website.

n The Board approved the change to Board Policy DEA LOCAL concerning the maximum amount of compensatory time a nonexempt employee may accrue yearly.

n The Board approved the new/renewed list of vendors for PISD – this list is

updated approximately every 6-8 months.

n The Board approved the annual renewal of the District’s Investment Policy, which is available for viewing online.

n The Board addressed two separate Level III Appeals made by former employees.

Regular meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:25 p.m.