By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
In a regular board meeting held via teleconference on Tuesday, the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District approved awarding NM Contracting a bid to proceed with a natatorium entrance project.
Neither board members nor Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman clarified how this bid compares to the primary bid for the aquatic center, one of three main projects of a $40 million bond approved by voters in 2018.
The natatorium or aquatic center will be located next to the new performing arts center and Dr. Garza Elementary School.
According to Tuesday’s agenda, the bid is the lowest and best bid as recommended by Brighton Group, the project manager, the company supervising the construction of the bond project facilities, and the design engineer GDJ Engineering.
Board members participating in the meeting approved the motion, except for board members Angel Mendez and M. L. Garcia, who were absent.
Trustees also discussed and approved multiple items, such as the purchase of Microsoft educational software licenses and a compensation plan for 2020-2021 that includes a 4% raise for all employees.
Trustees also unanimously (5-0) approved a one-time $500 stipend as additional compensation for all essential personnel (i.e., employees who have been working since March 23rd). This stipend is intended to subsidize additional expenses incurred by essential district personnel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and extended district closure.
Board President Orlando López indicated that during the uncertainty and stress of the current COVID-19 pandemic, “Seeing the district come together as a family, as a San Benito CISD family, is really amazing.”
Lopez added that because the district has been fiscally responsible, the $500 stipend he was recommending would indeed be feasible.
In other items, the school board also approved to extend the bid proposals for charter bus service districtwide for an additional year. Carman said these are the same companies approved in April 2018.
The board also approved a resolution regarding grading and class rank policies for the 2019-2020 school year.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the April 17–23, 2020 issue of the NEWS.