At the July 9 meeting of the Blanco ISD trustees, Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford introduced new Blanco Elementary School principal Linda Romano. Romano, who comes from Marble Falls, said that the opportunity to return to Blanco, where she taught 20 years ago, was the only reason she came out of retirement. Dr. Ford also reminded trustees of the TASB/TASA Fall Convention in Austin September 28-30, to which Charles Riley and Darrell Wagner will be delegates. Bernie San Miguel will serve as alternate.
Joel Benjegerdes, project manager for Vanguard Contractors, updated trustees on the progress of the elementary school construction/renovation project. Drywall in the new cafeteria is 50 per cent complete, damp-proofing is complete, and the masonry restoration work on the original Alamo-style school building is 50 percent complete. Trustees were impressed with pictures of the beautiful stonework which has been exposed as the old paint has been removed. Dr. Ford showed pictures of writing dating back to 1895 engraved on some of the blocks and pointed out that the paint-removal process may damage the historic blocks. Trustees decided to leave the few engraved blocks, which are located in a niche on the side of the building, as they are. If they look strange, the paint can be removed later.
Within the next thirty days the steel erection in the east classroom wing is scheduled to be completed and the mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) rough-in should be 50 percent complete. The MEP for the west wing, which is now 50 percent complete, should be finished in the next 30 days, and the metal studs should be 50 percent complete. Benjegerdes invited trustees to take a tour of the construction site, and a decision was made to meet at 6:30 p.m. before the next regular meeting August 13 and look at progress. The parking lot at the cafeteria is scheduled to be paved before school opens. In answer to a question by trustee Darrell Wagner about the ceiling height of the cafeteria, Benjegerdes explained that the roof trusses need to be high to support the weight of the roof without interior columns.
In other construction news, trustees voted to choose the interlocal contract delivery method to choose a contractor to upgrade existing air-conditioning units at Blanco Middle School. The district has received an Energy Efficiency Grant from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) in the amount of $85,492 to upgrade the 20-year-old units. The grant was reduced to cover seven units instead of the original eight because one of the units does not meet the qualifications for the grant. DMI Entegral, a vendor which is a member of the Buy Board purchasing cooperative, was approved by trustees to complete the work for $85,492. According to Dr. Ford, DMI Entegral “has the resources, experience, and capability to complete the job by the August 31 deadline.”
Trustees also approved a calendar of appraisal dates for teachers in accordance with the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS). Alternate appraisers Dustin Barton, Linda Romano, and Jesse Salazar, principals at the three campuses, were approved by trustees in the event that the regular teacher supervisor is not available. Trustees also approved TASB Policy Update 94, which provides for the care of students with a diagnosed food allergy who are at risk for anaphylaxis.
Finally, trustees examined a preliminary estimated budget for the 2012-13 school year. As financial manager Kay Fraser explained, the proposed budget shows a 2.7 percent increase overall. She assured trustees that the instructional program will not be hurt by necessary cuts in other areas. With information on state funding coming out by July 26, Fraser said it is likely that trustees will be able to vote on a final budget at the next meeting August 13.