Courtesy of Dallas School District
Dallas School District plans to spend $3 million in bond funding to build a new CTE center on campus.
As of Wednesday, August 8, 2018
DALLAS — A new career and technical education building at Dallas High School is included with the projects paid for with the remainder of Dallas School District’s maintenance bond.
The district has about $4.7 million left to spend on upgrades and repairs to its facilities and $3 million will go toward building a new CTE center behind the current shop.
On July 23 Dallas School Board members approved the project priorities, recommended by the district’s citizens oversight committee.
Kevin Montague, the district’s facilities director, said the plan originally was to renovate the current shop to serve as a CTE center.
He said the committee changed course after learning how much it would cost to upgrade the building.
“There’s some challenges with that with some environmental issues that we have going on with that,” he said. “Asbestos and lead are significant in that building. The committee went down that road fairly extensively, of renovation. I would say the tipping point for them was when we got the environmental studies back. Is it better to take those costs and spend them on a new facility?”
He said the total cost is about $3.5 million.
The new building, with equipment, would cost $3 million, and provide flexibility in construction schedule and financing. It could be phased in as needed or added on to.
“It gives us some flexibility from a funding stand point. We could do the exterior, get the shell up, get the facility in place, but we wouldn’t have to build (it all out),” Montague said. “Those could be added into possibly a second bond.”
Under the plan, a storage building next to greenhouse at the house school would be demolished to make room for the new building, and the current shop would be turned into the district maintenance shop.
The district planned initially to spend $1.5 million on CTE facilities, which means $1.5 million in other projects have been pushed off.
Montague said that includes access and security upgrades, roofing at the high school and locker room and restroom remodels to provide more privacy for students. Taller, “gapless” stalls will be installed in restrooms instead.
Board member Mike Blanchard asked how long the roof at DHS could last and if it could wait for a bond the district hopes to pass in 2021.
“If we are able to pass in 2021, that would be one of the first things we would do,” Montague said. “There’s a large portion of that roof that needs restored. If we don’t restore it … we are looking at a full replacement.”
Tim Ray, the district’s CTE coordinator, said the $3 million would be an investment in students in the district and the rest of the county.
He said 63 percent of students at DHS took CTE classes last year.
“So, to think that you are spending $3 million on a small piece of the pie, that is not the case anymore,” Ray said. “CTE is serving the population of Dallas High School and it will continue to increase if it is given the credence and the credibility that it has gained.”
Blanchard asked when construction would start.
Montague said it could start in 2019, but wouldn’t be finished until 2020.
“We could probably start before 2020 given that we can start anytime,” he said. “We are not dependent on school. We can start whenever we are ready to go because we don’t have to have kids in there.”
The board approved the project list unanimously.
Also, on the project list are technology upgrades, replaceing HVAC units, roofing at DHS, and painting at several buildings.