Trustees for the Calallen Independent School District narrowly approved the selection of a contractor for a $1.3 million HVAC upgrade and replacement project at Calallen High School.

At Monday's meeting, trustees approved the selection of Weathertrol Inc. for the replacement and upgrade of HVAC equipment at Calallen High School. Weathertrol, who submitted a bid of $1.3 million, was recommended to the board by the selection committee and was selected in a narrow 4-3 vote.

However, the winning bid was not the low bid, which was submitted by Malek Inc. at $1.27 million. Several trustees expressed concern to purchasing and risk management Bill Monroe that there was not enough of a difference in the evaluation scores, which were only separated by a few points, to warrant moving forward with the higher proposal.

"Is there really $55,000 worth of difference?" trustee Brent Burkhart asked during discussion on the item.

"The committee firmly believes that it is worth the difference," Monroe replied, adding that Weathertrol has worked with the CISD over the past 10 years on various projects.

Trustees Karen Karagas, Yolanda Villarreal and Burkhart voted against the selection of Weathertrol, while trustees Paul Peeler, Butch Roecker, Jim Callis and Tammy McDonald voted in favor of the recommendation.

After the vote, McDonald said she was confident in her decision.

"Having been in a position before to have to go through all this bidding process and awarding contracts, you do have to put some type of value on the committee and going through the bid process and seeing where the numbers do fall," McDonald said.

"If the committee really felt that strongly about it, there should have been a greater difference…just to justify that (recommendation)," Villarreal said. "I know we're dealing with millions (of dollars), but $55,000 is $55,000."

Also at Monday's meeting, trustees awarded more than 20 faculty and administration members contract extensions for the 2010-11 school year.

Among the recipients of the extensions include Calallen High School football coach and athletic director Phil Danaher and his wife, Anita, who currently serves as the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

No salary increases or changes were made during the meeting and will not be discussed until the district's budgeting process for next school year begins, superintendent Arturo Almendarez said.