RED OAK — An update on Red Oak ISD by Superintendent Scott Niven and information about the recruitment of Triumph Aerostructures-Vought to the community were topics at the Red Oak Chamber of Commerce meeting Aug. 17 in the newly refurbished Red Oak Junior High School.

Chamber president Nickie Weyrauch opened the meeting after lunch and introduced Niven and Hugley.

While voicing some concerns about the impact the economy is having on school districts in Texas, Niven was optimistic about several initiatives being put into place by ROISD.

“We look forward to opening this new junior high school, which was renovated at a cost of $2.5 million,” Niven said, introducing campus principal Christi Watts. “Good things are going to happen this year because we’ve got a great team in place and we have an outstanding board of trustees. You know, good leadership starts and stops with a strong board of trustees and that’s what we’ve got.”

While many other school districts are suffering financially, ROISD finances are in place, he said, saying, “We have a full teaching staff – we haven’t raised the class sizes and we’re continuing with salary schedule for all teachers and staff.”

Niven reported that the school district is adding career tech strands including an engineering strand, AP classes and duel credit.

“Students can graduate from Red Oak High School as a sophomore in college,” he said. “My daughter entered Stephen F. Austin (in Nacogdoches) with 36 college hours.”

Niven also discussed an after school program at Red Oak elementary schools that’s designed for parents who work out of town. They can leave their children with the school until 6 p.m., with the program providing help with homework, he said, noting the program has an enrollment of more than 100 students.

Little Hawks Learning Academy is a great benefit for teachers and staff of ROISD, he said, noting that the district also is exploring online academic programs.

Hugley reported that the infrastructure on property situated south of Ovilla Road and east of Methodist Road is complete and ready for Triumph Group Inc. to begin construction of its 240,000 square feet manufacturing facility. The company, which is building a Vought Aircraft manufacturing facility to build aircraft parts. The facility will begin with 125 employees, later expanding to 265. Rail is accessible for the new facility.

“Triumph likes to partner with local businesses in the area, which will be a great economic benefit to our community,” the mayor said, noting that the new industry will be a factor in Red Oak getting the attention of the Dallas business community.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.