Waxahachie’s board of trustees took the first steps toward a renovation project of Marvin Elementary during its called meeting Monday evening.

The renovation would transform the school from a kindergarten campus to a kindergarten through fifth grade campus.

The trustees unanimously approved a recommendation to hire Huckabee, an architecture, engineering and management firm, for the architectural services needed for the project.

“Tonight we are not approving anything other than giving Huckabee the go ahead to proceed,” Interim Superintendent David Truitt said.

Huckabee representative Josh Brown gave the trustees a timeline of events leading up to awarding of the construction bids.  

“The board will actually have three opportunities to approve the stages of the project,” Brown said.

Huckabee’s timeline schedules approvals in October of the schematic design, and then an approval of the design documentation is planned at the December meeting. The final presentation of the construction plans will have to be board approved before the project can go through the project construction bid process. Construction documents are scheduled to be presented to the trustees in January 2014.

Trustee Floyd Bates asked what the estimate cost for their architectural fees would be.

Brown responded that their fee would be 6 percent of the construction cost. Bates then asked what their rough estimate of the construction cost would be. Somewhere around $500,000 was the response.

Other action by the trustees related to the renovation project was to name Gallagher Construction Company as the project construction management agency.

The renovation is planned to begin in March 2014 and be compete by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

An increase in school enrollment and the need for upper elementary grade classrooms was the reason for the renovation and reconfiguration of the school.

Truitt gave the trustees an update on the district’s enrollment during the superintendent’s report.

“The current district enrollment is 7,637. We are up 166 students from the end of school last May. The three areas of students who are still returning is prekindergarten, bilingual and dropout credit recovery high school of choice students,” Truitt said.

Citing student growth issues, Truitt told the trustees at Clift Elementary the district is over the 22:1 classroom ratio with one classroom at 24:1 ratio in the kindergarten and grade four levels.

“Other areas of concern are grade three at Felty Elementary, grade four at Northside and Shackleford elementaries.

“To combat these overages, I moved a grade-one teacher at Wedgeworth Elementary to kindergarten class and opened a new grade-four section at Felty Elementary,” Truitt said.

The district has set up student transfer shuttles for all grade levels at Clift to Dunaway on an as need basis. Other shuttles from Clift are kindergarten to Northside and grades one through three and grade five to Wedgeworth, and grade four to Felty.

Sept. 13 meeting

The trustees will hold a special called meeting for Friday, Sept. 13.

“The purpose (of the specially called meeting) will be to determine the contract status of employee Tyler James Deaton. This possibly could have a closed session with any action required to be taken during an open session,” Board President Mark Price said.

Two local business volunteers and two students were recognized for their participation as honorary co-chairmen in the Operation First Day of School Project. Adult volunteers recognized were Melissa Ballard and Jackie Hill. The student honorary co-chairmen recognized were Michael High and Kaiden Maines.

The trustees heard a presentation on the district’s progress with the INation project. Director of Technology Robert Keith along with Chealsie Sanchez and Debbie Needham gave an update on the district’s integrating mobile technology into the district classrooms.

“We’ve held 28 sessions with 502 teachers attending. The sessions were divides with 17 being basic use sessions and 11 for teachers with advanced skills. The teachers were required to attend the basic session before we would issue them their iPad,” Needhan said.