By DAVID LOPEZ
San Benito CISD board members discussed three significant topics during their special meeting Monday, including the progress of the Natatorium and Performing Arts Center, employees’ hours, and possibly finding a space for the San Benito Food Pantry.
First, the board discussed the progress of the construction of the Natatorium and Performing Arts Center as part of the bond project approved by voters in November 2018 with members of Brighton Group, L0LC, the firm hired to oversee the project.
According to Joseph Palacios, head of Brighton Group LLC, they attained a reduction of $140,000 in the core construction bid and are coming in under budget.
“All in all, if you go back to the bond program budget on these items, I am happy to report that we are at a reduction of $349,000.”
Following discussions on the bond project, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman presented a resolution to allow employees who have been unable to complete 40 hours a week to attain their hours elsewhere.
“What we’re asking is for the authority to be given to me to consider pay for these employees,” said Carman. “For example, transportation employees and security employees, who, because we’re not transporting students, or providing security for students, are not currently earning 40 hours. We have other positions available within the maintenance department [and] child nutrition; they can pick up some of those hours to make up the difference.”
However, Carman noted that those positions are at a lower rate based on the current board-approved pay scale.
“This resolution would allow for them to be paid at their normal rate.”
Board members expressed delight at the resolution, ultimately approving it.
Lastly, Lopez suggested the San Benito Food Pantry be housed in a district facility.
“I think it’s a great thing for the community, they’ve done a tremendous job, and I think at this moment in time, we just need to give a helping hand,” Lopez said.
Dr. Carman said he spoke with Forrest Walker, president of the San Benito Food Pantry, about the idea. Carman said that Walker informed him that the Food Pantry only had a space of 850 square feet for their first 30 years and that the building they are in now is 2,500 square feet.
“We’re not using our Technology building, and that building is over 4,000 square feet,” suggested Carman.
The plan was not up for a vote but will be brought up at a future meeting for a decision.
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