Krause Elementary School will see a big upgrade this summer. The Brenham School Board approved the Crain Group’s Guaranteed Maximum Proposal for the project Thursday evening. Scotty Lewis with Project Control said that all of the restrooms at the school will be redone along with the entryway. He said that carpet throughout the building will be replaced and the corridors will receive new lighting. Last summer, the school had a number of Heating, Air-conditioning and Electrical upgrades. Lewis said that contractors will start at the last day of school and will work through the summer to complete the upgrades. He couldn’t guarantee that everything would be completed by the time school begins in the fall, but he stated that the building would be ready to accept students.
Assistant Superintendent Paul Aschenbeck gave the trustees an update on the library at the Early Childhood Learning Center. Aschenbeck said that the interior has now been stripped of everything, including the floor tiles and that BISD maintenance crews would be working through the summer to build out the new library. He promised that the new library would be quite impressive when completed.
Aschenbeck also showed the trustees photos of some of the devices being considered to lock down classrooms in case of an emergency. He said they are looking at a number of devices and seeking assistance from the Brenham Fire Department because whatever is chosen cannot violate any fire codes. He said the district would like to install something on each classroom this summer. Director of Student Services Steve Skrla reviewed the Districts plans concerning hiring off-duty officers to cover the schools. He said that currently a resource officer serves full time at the High School and the Junior High, and that off-duty officers rotate through the other schools. He said that even if a school wasn’t being covered, an officer was never more than 3-5 minutes away.
John Deans and Don Whatley both spoke during the open forum portion of the meeting and strongly objected to the district’s policy of not covering all of the campuses with officers 100 percent of the time. They suggested that the district should allow teachers to be armed to protect the students.
The board voted to request a waver for the Universal Free Breakfast Requirement at Alton Elementary School. Alton has been providing free breakfast to students for the past 4 years. The state mandated that 4 years ago when more that 80 percent of the student population at Alton qualified for free lunches. Now that number is down to 59 percent so the district is looking to discontinue the program.
In other action, the board accepted 3 monetary donations. The Brenham Elks Lodge donated $5,310 for the purchase of Chromebooks for the special needs students at Brenham Middle School. The Texas Arts and Music Festival donate $1000 to the High School Art Department, and HEB Tournament of Champions donated $2000 to Brenham High School math teacher Cindy Markos for the purchase of technology for the classrooms.
Trustees awarded this month’s “You Make a Difference” Award to Coach Glen West and his wife Julie West. Glen West served as Brenham’s Athletic Director for 20 years, resigning in March to take a position with the Texas High School Coaches Association. Melvin Ehlert presented Glenn and Julie with the award and thanked each of them for the difference they made in the lives of students over the past 20 years.