Now that the community has approved a bond to build a new school in the Robstown Independent School District, Interim-Superintendent Alfonso Obregon is seeking more community input into just how that new school should be constructed.
The $12.4 million bond was approved in May, and will fund the construction of a new elementary school to replace Salazar and Hattie Martin elementary schools.
The RISD Board of Trustees recently authorized Obregon to form an advisory committee to offer input on the construction of the new school.
That committee will include Obregon, four principals from the district, Business Manager Jodi Schroedter, two board members and two members of the community. Those are Roland Ramos, a parent of a student at RISD, and business person Ninfa Trevino.
Obregon said the first job of the committee is to meet with the architect, Raymond Gignac, to determine if the district should use modified plans of an existing school or to completely design a new facility.
"If it's going to be (an existing plan), the architect's fees are going to be much lower, for example 3.5 percent," Obregon said. "If we're going to go with a new design, the fees are going to be 6 percent. So the variance in $10 million is going to be about $300,000."
As part of the decision-making process, the committee will visit other school districts around the state to review their facilities, Obregon said.
The committee will report its findings and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which will have the ultimate authority to determine which plan the district chooses.
The committee will continue to have an active role during the construction process, Obregon said, reviewing the construction and eventually performing a walk-through of the finished facility to ensure it will meet the needs of the district.
While the committee is tasked with advising the board and being a "watchdog" over the construction process, Obregon said another key component of the committee is to help the district make decisions that will be "transparent" to the community.
"I want everybody to buy in," Obregon said.