Ira graduates impressed with new school

By Ben Barkley
SDN Managing Editor

Ira High School graduates Blair McCowen and Kayla Taylor walked through the new Ira ISD school Thursday night and could not believe
what they were seeing.

“Oh my gosh,” McCowen said. “They (the

students) have it really good.”  McCowen said the community has been needing
a new school and the facility is “all for the better of Ira.”

While in the Bulldog Country Gym, McCowen said she could not wait to watch her sisters play basketball.

Taylor said the facility looked “outstanding. It is better than what we had.”

“I am really ready to see what it looks like when everything is in here,” she said.

McCowen and Taylor, who are students at Western Texas College, toured the facility during the board of trustees meeting in order to receive extra credit in a Texas government class.   Also attending were Jackilynn Tabor of Moran and Ashley Semler of Plano. They are the first non-school employees to tour the facility.

“We have brought the teachers over. They are all very excited,” said Superintendent Jay Waller.

The school is scheduled to be completed in June and an open house is being planned for late that month. Waller said following the open house and ribbon cutting, teachers and staff members will begin moving in supplies and furniture.

The new school features 26 classrooms, a gym which will seat 550 people, a cafetorium with a seating capacity of 350 and a separate agricultural science building.
The $12.2 million project was funded through a bond issue and reserve funds from the district.

“It’s amazing the support the Ira community gives to this school,” said board president Shawn McCowen, adding he cannot wait for the community to see the facility.

Waller said one change in the design was in office area. The boardroom was planned for the office, but was changed to a conference room. Waller’s office in Roy Sallee Gym will be renovated into a boardroom.

Tyler Mercer with Buford Thompson Construction,the construction manager at-risk for the project, said the project is on time and on budget. He also praised the Ira board and administration.

“This has been a wonderful project. I would definitely put this up against any project we have done,” he said. “This project is the best example of the three-legged construction stool of the contractor, architect and owner. They have been fantastic building partners.”

During the tour, Waller and basketball coaches Shae Sanford and Eric Simonds had to decide what color to varnish the floor to match wood beams lining the ceiling.

“I am really excited to open this place up next year and get the fans in here. I think they will be just as excited,” Sanford said.

Later this month, kitchen equipment will be delivered and installed and ceramic tile will be laid in the lockeroom.

“This is going to be something the community can be proud of,”
Shawn McCowen said.

Upcoming Projects at BTC

  • Stanton Phase 1.1 will bid on 4/14/15 and BTC will continue to provide estimating and budgeting assistance for Phase 2 which is scheduled for bidding around December 2015 or January 2016.
  • MSU Student Housing phase 1 – site work will be bidding in May 2015, and BTC will continue to provide estimating and budgeting assistant for phase 2 which is scheduled for bidding in June 2015.
  • MSU Mass Communication Building Addition.  BTC has started preconstruction estimating and budgeting services with an anticipated bid date of July 2015.
  • Rankin ISD:  BTC is providing pre-bond services to Rankin ISD to support the upcoming May bond with estimating and budgeting assistance.  BTC will be assisting Rankin ISD in answering questions the community may have concerning the bond program.
  • Nocona ISD:  BTC is providing pre-bond services to Nocona ISD to support the upcoming November bond with estimating and budgeting assistance.  BTC will be assisting Nocona ISD in answering questions the community may have concerning the bond program.
  • Keller ISD:  BTC is providing preconstruction planning and estimating for the additions and renovations at Keller High School.  The design program is progressing with an anticipated bidding in July 2015.
  • Calhoun County ISD:  Construction continues on the phase 1 work, with BTC continuing to provide preconstruction services for the Phase 2 Sand Crab Stadium renovations along with the Travis Middle School project.  The Phase 2 Sand Crab Stadium Additions and Renovations are scheduled for bidding in May 2015.

Stanton ISD Passes School Bond

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Buford-Thompson Company was selected as the CMAR for Stanton ISD.  Their 2014 bond passed and will include Renovations and Additions to the High School, Middle School and Elementary School.  The bond also includes a new Baseball/Softball complex as well paving and other additions.

Story by CBS 7
Posted on May 10, 2014by Whitney Harding

MARTIN COUNTY: There were two school bond elections in Martin County today.
Starting in Stanton voters approved a $45.9 million bond with 65 percent saying yes. Those involved were pleased with more than the turnout: almost 400 residents voted in the election.
“It shows that we have a community that’s interested in what we are doing,” said Superintendent David Carr. “You’re always wary when you’re talking about $46 million and you’re looking at a school district our size. There’s…you know, that’s a lot of money.”
CBS7 spoke with people in the Stanton area today and one of the big selling points on this bond was the addition of a baseball/softball complex.
“For me it really boils down to the softball,” said resident Janie Pierce-Bratcher. “I want softball for our girls.”
“We’re the only district in our area in the 2A classification that doesn’t have either of those sports,” Carr explained. “It was in the best interest of our district to give our kids everything we can offer them.”

Forsan I.S.D. Marks “Historic” Day With Groundbreaking of New Elementary School

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

FORSAN – It was a big day for the community of Forsan. They broke ground on the town’s new elementary school.

The current elementary campus has been around for decades.

From past generations to future ones, a big crowed turned out to see the beginning of a new chapter in Forsan’s history.

“This marks a point where we can actually start seeing some tangible progress out here,” Forsan ISD Superintendent, Randy Johnson, said.

On Monday, the Forsan school district broke ground at the site of the new elementary campus.

The project comes after voters approved a nearly $24 million school bond election last May.

The current Elbow Elementary School has a lot of history and a special place in people’s hearts in the area.

“I actually went to first and second grade at Elbow,” third grade teacher, Tammie Jones, said. “I had a son come through Elbow and I’ve actually been teaching there two different times.”

The district outgrew the campus and that wasn’t the only problem. The building was built back in the 1950’s.

“Of course anything that was built back in that time span has asbestos issues, lead paint issues and some plumbing and things that buried underneath the concrete,” Johnson said.

Now that construction can begin, parents have a lot to look forward to. The new campus is being built next to the junior high and high school.

Right now, Elbow is about 12 miles away from the other schools.

“It’s kind of hard to do things over here with the junior high and the high school kids, especially because I’ve got kids at both schools,” Jeanette Lindsey, a second grade teacher and parent, said.

School officials said the new elementary will also benefit the district as a whole, given their small size.

“We can share staff back and forth,” Johnson said. “Our elementary students will have the advantage of having secondary students come and reading with them and working with them.”

Once it’s complete, the building will have a lot more space, more classrooms and features specific to teachers’ needs.

“I was very thankful that we’ve had administration that sat down with each grade level and said what do you want in a classroom, what do you want in a school,” Jones said.

We’re told it was a team effort; one made possible by the people.

“It does take a whole community to raise kids and to do a good job in education and we’re very blessed to have that support,” Johnson said.

The new campus should be completed and ready by August of 2015.

PPISD Breaks Ground

Breaking ground for construction of the cafetorium at Palo Pinto school last week are, left to right, Dale Murfree, BTC; Pete Gadoury, BTC; Steve Ellinger,
Breaking ground for construction of the cafetorium at Palo Pinto school last week are, left to right, Dale Murfree, BTC; Pete Gadoury, BTC; Steve Ellinger, CADCO; Eric Cederstrom, PPISD superintendent; Kerrie Johnston-Hall, board trustee; Brad Connelly, board trustee; Bud Price, board president; Cody Cloud, board vice-president; and Beverly Fuller, board secretary. (Courtesy)
alo Pinto ISD Board Trustees officially broke ground on the voter approved construction of a cafetorium and building renovation project last week. Working in conjunction with CADCO Architects-Engineers Inc. and Buford-Thompson Co. as construction managers, an August grand opening is planned prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year. “The Palo Pinto community is excited to see the commitment to ensuring our kids are receiving the best education in the best possible setting,” noted Eric J. Cederstrom, PPISD superintendent. “We are proud to work with both of our professional partners in this project. “The vision of the board to see what is beyond today and plan for what is to come has been a tremendous group effort,” he added.

Arlington ISD Receives Certificate of Occupancy for Newest Elementary School

Arlington Independent School District’s newest elementary school, James and Barbara Adams Elementary School, recently received its Certificate of Occupancy, signaling the District’s next steps of opening the school to the public beginning next month.

The VLK Architects-designed campus features spaces conducive to teaching 21s t Century learning, including indoor collaboration areas housed within each grade level wing and outdoor learning spaces between the wings. This was Arlington ISD’s first steps toward instituting more innovative facilities for their students, by changing to a new design for their elementary schools, from the previous prototype that had been used. Each area was created to support the use of handheld technology. In addition to the student-centric learning concepts, the school has incorporated sustainable elements, such as maximizing daylight into all teaching spaces, to reduce the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting.

The school serves grade levels Pre-kindergarten through sixth, and the design is focused on appropriate grade-level separation while maximizing adjacencies to core spaces in buildings, such as the library, activity room and cafetorium. Wayfinding components are integral in the design, in order to support the grade-level configuration. The contractor, Buford-Thompson Company, hopes these details will translate to ease of use for everyone at the school. “We want all students and staff to have a good, overall experience with this building,” says Project Manager Joel Martin. “This is such a unique project. It means a lot that we were able to work on this school; I would say it’s easily one of the top projects our company has worked on over the years.”

“This was an incredibly successful project for Arlington ISD and we are proud to be able to design a school that takes the District’s goals for innovation in their facilities and curriculum to the next level,” says VLK Principal Sloan Harris, AIA. “We’re very excited to see the students and teachers use the school as the District continues to evolve into 21st Century Learning.” The school is the first of its kind in Arlington ISD by including spaces that support 21st Century Learning as well as project-based curriculum.

Palestine ISD – Vocational Building Renovations and Softball Improvements Completed

BTC has recently completed the renovation of a 31,730 square foot Vocational Building for Palestine ISD. BTC acted as the design build firm working in conjunction with CADCO Architect/Engineers.

The project consisted of a complete interior demolition, salvaging usable items as required by the Owner for re-use, new ductwork to the existing HVAC units, reworking plumbing as required to provide TAS compliant toilets, new electrical systems throughout the building, replacement of all exterior doors and windows to match the High School and new covered walkways to the Vocational Building. This renovation took place on an occupied campus; therefore, student safety was a top priority.

In addition to this project, a change order was approved to provide improvements to the Ladycat Softball Stadium. The scope of work included new dugouts, a new backstop, bleacher seating for 200, new modular retaining wall with integral tops for seating, concession area with canopy, perimeter barrier walls and fencing and new sidewalks to provide TAS compliant access. This project will be complete in January 2013.

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Finalizing 2011 Bond Projects for Grand Prairie ISD

BTC is in the closeout phase of one of the many 2011 Bond Projects for Grand Prairie ISD.

BTC was selected to renovate the South Grand Prairie High School Locker Rooms and Robotics.  This project is valued at 1,883,836 and will be complete January 2013.  Pictures are available for viewing on Grand Prairie ISD’s website.

The project required assisting Grand Prairie ISD’s design team with the selection of building systems, costing estimating, value engineering opportunities, continual plan review, scheduling during the pre-construction phase of the Project and to build the Project thereafter as a Construction Manager-at-Risk.

Photos from Grand Prairie ISD