The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees established a maximum construction price tag for the new agriscience barn during a special meeting Thursday.

During the discussion held in the boardroom of the Waxahachie ISD Administration building, Waxahachie ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn iterated the original costs — established during bond discussions in November —to construct the complex were not to exceed $7 million. Board president Dusty Autrey also noted the preliminary design does not fit in the location the board initially thought.

As of now, the land planner hired by the district is working to identify the best use of the land available on the campus of the new high school for the agriscience facility.

During the called meeting, trustees John Rodger and Kim Kriegel expressed desires for the two facilities to be separated. However, Autrey emphasized the need to stick to the plan that was established five years ago.

Doug Plate, with The Nay Company, suggested the budget for the structure of the agriscience facility not to exceed $5 million. He also noted that, as of now, the utility costs are up in the air because the facility location is not set.

Trustee Clay Schoolfield suggested $4.9 million as an adequate figure to not exceed for the construction of the agriscience barn.

Ryan Kahlden, WISD assistant superintendent of business and finance, shared there is currently $28 million in fund balance.

The board unanimously approved for the construction of the structure to not exceed $4.9 million and will consider the location and site plan at a later date.

The board also considered two construction companies to construct the North Grove Elementary campus. The vote was between Core Construction and Buford-Thompson Construction.

Autrey, Rodgers and Schoolfield recently visited Azle ISD to review work completed by BTC and spoke with district representatives about the process and experience with the construction.

“All they build are schools, and they have a heavy resume of school districts. […] I was impressed,” Rodgers relayed.

Schoolfield added, “I’ve looked at plenty of construction sites with my work experience. When I looked at the schools and everyone wanted to show me their libraries. […] I cared about the flat work outside and things that are usually done incorrect, and I saw none of that."

The board unanimously approved BTC for the North Grove Elementary project.

The board also unanimously approved the sale of the $23 million bond that was supported by taxpayers to build the North Grove Elementary.

Lastly, the board unanimously approved to execute agreements related to purchasing credits from the state for the 2018-19 school year.

“We can expect to receive $27 million from the state and start payments of $200,000 for next year to the state. There are early agreement credits that can be executed before Sept. 1. and that will just further drive down the amount we owe to the state,” Kahlden explained.

The meeting entered closed session at 5:25 p.m. and after the board reconvened into an open session they unanimously passed the personnel report that included employment, retirements, resignations and position changes.

The board has another called meeting scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. to consider accepting Glenn's resignation and action regarding the selection of an acting superintendent.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450