Board approves negotiations for bond projects

Longview Early Grad High campus aerial

The Longview ISD Board of Trustees approved authorizing the superintendent to negotiate architectural services for the $456.2 million bond projects, a change order for renovations at Longview Early Graduation High School, and other business during their regular meeting on Monday, May 13.

Opening negotiations

Trustees approved authorizing Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox to negotiate a contract with Dallas-based firm The DLR Group for architectural services related to the $456.2 million bond projects decisively approved by voters on May 4. 

On May 4 district voters passed five bond propositions by a 20-point margin to address aging facilities and infrastructure districtwide.  

  • Proposition A funds renovations and expansions at Longview and Early Graduation high schools, a new Career and Technical Education Center, safety/security upgrades, a bus barn, and energy efficiency measures like solar panels.
  • Proposition B allows the construction of a new 30-classroom Early Childhood Center with amenities to replace the overcrowded existing facility and provide daycare for district employees. Renovations are planned for the current building.  
  • Proposition C covers a new multi-purpose student athletic facility with turf fields, batting cages, weight room, and locker rooms. It also funds high school renovations for soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, and a 3-mile cross-country course.
  • Proposition D funds renovations at Lobo and Judson Middle School stadiums, including lighting, concessions, and storage upgrades to improve the event experience.
  • Proposition E establishes a new natatorium/aquatics facility to replace the aging Lobo Swim Center that often requires repairs and expensive maintenance.

The DLR Group has over five decades of architecture experience and currently has 41 licensed architects in Texas on staff. The firm has worked on more than 900 renovation projects, 200 school additions, 1,400 addition and renovation combinations, and over 1,100 new school construction projects.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

'Next Steps' outlined

Later in the meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dr. Wayne Guidry gave a presentation to board members outlining "next steps" of the $456.2 million bond project, once Dr. Wilcox has successfully negotiated terms with the DLR Group architectural firm.

Dr. Guidry provided an overview of how Propositions A through E will be implemented, starting with assembling the right team of architects, project managers, and construction firms through an equal opportunity bidding process scored on service quality, product quality, and pricing.

He explained various construction delivery methods like construction manager at risk, job order contracting, and design-build that could be utilized based on the architect's guidance for each project type - new construction, renovations, single projects, simple projects, or district-led initiatives.

Projects will be organized into three groups: new construction with designated companies; renovations potentially bundled with single/simple projects; and district-led work.

The process was outlined from programming/visioning to developing budgets, followed by schematic design, design development with 3D visualizations, construction documents, permitting, construction administration, and budget confirmation at each phase.

Immediate priorities include securing Longview High with fencing, then fast-tracking the new Career and Technical Education building and multi-purpose facility to create space for subsequent high school renovations and capitalize on economies of scale. Other projects will follow standard design and construction timelines.

Early Grad campus renovations

Board members later approved a contract change order and amendment for the existing services agreement with Schneider Electric.

The district requested additional scope to include HVAC and electrical renovations for the old band hall facility on the campus of Longview Early Graduation High School. 

Dr. Guidry explained that the current electrical system lacks the capacity for a computer lab and HVAC upgrades.

Per the amendment, the contract amount increases from $5,945,686 to $6,237,373 to accommodate the added band hall work valued at $291,687. This covers the installation of new HVAC equipment including condensers, blower units, and a mini-split system.

Dr. Guidry said the electrical work entails a new 600 amp distribution panel, service disconnect, wiring for HVAC equipment, wire mold units with outlets in the common area, and dedicated convenience outlets in office/lab spaces.

According to the terms of the contract, the project faces potential delays due to current lead times, though Schneider Electric will coordinate with the district to minimize disruptions. Exclusions include utility service upgrades, taxes, asbestos abatement, and permits.

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Contract with Region VII

Trustees also approved a customized agreement with Region VII Education Service Center (ESC) for the 2024-25 school year.

Per district policy, board approval is required for purchases exceeding $50,000. 

Longview ISD received a $200,000 LASO grant for Strong Foundations Planning to develop a K-12 Math Framework, with the authorized provider receiving half the grant funds.

The agreement with Region VII runs from May 1, 2024, to March 31, 2025. Services include facilitation of literacy research learning, support developing a framework roadmap and communication plan, creating and finalizing the math framework aligned with research, reviewing the implementation plan, and developing a case study.

Billings of $5,000 and $95,000 will be issued on Aug. 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025, respectively.

The district's responsibilities include attending the learning series, creating roadmaps and communication plans, developing the framework, submitting the implementation plan, and participating in a focus group. 

Click here to download the resolution and related documentation.

Superintendent's Report

During the Superintendent's Report, Dr. Wilcox and the board honored Longview High School's UIL Academics team, UIL One-Act Play state qualifiers, and districtwide Science Fair winners.

Dr. Wilcox provided an update on a potential partnership with Longview Child Development Center (LCDC) to utilize district campus space for their programs. 

The board also received the District Services Report.

Updates followed from charter partners TCIS, ETAA, and LEAP executive staff, as well as the Office of Innovation. 

Additionally, the PK-12 Literacy Framework, 2024 Summer Academy events, and Summer Academy Administrator Recognition were discussed.

District Donations

Board members unanimously approved the following donations:

  • $12,000 from Texas Builders Foundation toward the purchase of a 535 Pipe-Threading Machine for the Longview High School CATE Plumbing program;
  • $1,000 from ERDI Partners of Longview for the LISD Backpack Program; and
  • $250 from the East Texas Restaurant Association for the LHS Culinary Arts program. 

In other business...

During the course of the meeting, the LISD Board of Trustees also: 

  • APPROVED the certification of Provision of Instructional Materials Survey 2024-25. Districts are obligated to annually certify to the State Board of Education and the commissioner that students have access to instructional materials covering all the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each subject in the required curriculum;
  • APPROVED a recommendation from the District Instructional Materials Adoption Committee (DIMAC) to approve the adoption of specific instructional materials. The recommended materials include science textbooks and resources from McGraw-Hill for various grade levels and subjects;
  • APPROVED the Minutes and Time Use Tracker for the April 16 Special Meeting, April 22 Regular Meeting, April 29 Special Meeting, and April 30 Special Meeting;
  • APPROVED a letter of engagement with the Lufkin-based accounting firm of Alexander, Lankford & Hiers for the Financial Audit for Fiscal Year 2024; 
  • APPROVED continuing the shared services agreement with the Longview Regional Day School Program for the Deaf for the 2024-25 school year;
  • APPROVED the continuation of Communities in Schools Contracts for 2024-25; 
  • APPROVED an Attendance Waiver for the April 8, 2024, Solar Eclipse Event;
  • ACCEPTED the financial statements as of April 2024; and
  • APPROVED Budget Amendment No. 9.

For more info

Trustees usually meet in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center (1301 E. Young Street), but often set special-called meetings at various locations around the district. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. June 10, 2024.

For more information about the Longview ISD Board of Trustees please click here.