The Alvarado ISD Board of Trustees received a construction update from Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Mark Ratcliff on the progress of the new intermediate school Monday during the board’s final meeting of the year.

Two things Ratcliff and the board discussed about the construction were road entrances from FM 1807 and brick patterns, size and color.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) requested the district to have traffic engineers study the situation concerning the entrances to determine if a turn lane is necessary.

The engineers made their recommendation to TxDOT, however TxDOT asked for additional information, which the engineers reported they have already completed. TxDOT then asked for a letter from the district saying the district understands that heavy traffic may back up if no turn lane is present and accepts that situation.

TxDOT has now rescinded its request for the letter and the district is back to square one. Adding a turn lane at the entrance would be an expensive venture for the district because it would include relocating utilities.

“The frustrating thing is that even if we install the turn lane, it will not give significant relief from the backed up traffic,” Superintendent Chester Juroska said.

For the last couple weeks, there has been a pallet of sample brick at the construction site. The brick varies in size and color with one pattern going on the taller parts of the building and a second pattern on the main structure.

The board discussed whether or not to use the different sized bricks. On one pattern, smaller bricks were used along with oversized bricks. On the second pattern, only oversized bricks were used.

The concern centered on the cost of the bigger bricks compared to the smaller bricks and how much more labor the district would pay for because of the different patterns.

After a lengthy discussion, the board decided to go with the brick selections that were already made, citing that time lost in changing the brick would drive up the cost.

“I agree with the board’s decision in that the extra cost will be minimal and will provide a much better aesthetic look,” Juroska said.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14 and a called special meeting that will serve as a workshop to discuss and prioritize various projects that need to be done next summer has been set for Jan. 7.