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Malakoff ISD exploring construction bond

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Trustees approve purchase of Malakoff Masonic Lodge

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MALAKOFF – Malakoff ISD trustees voted Oct. 21 to select Claycomb Associates Architects as the “most highly qualified provider of services” to assess facilities and provide pre-bond services before a possible bond election in Nov. 2020 or May 2021.
The vote also delegated authority to Superintendent Don Layton to take actions pursuant to state law and board policy about securing Claycomb’s professional services, including presenting a proposed contract to trustees for consideration.
Trustees also approved the $55,000 purchase of the former Malakoff Masonic Lodge, the membership of which has been folded into the Athens Masonic Lodge. The property purchase includes the 3300-square foot brick building located across Jackson Street from the Rock School portion of Malakoff Elementary.
The $55,000 price tag does not include costs and expenses to effectuate the transaction, according to the agenda. Layton said the district will hire an inspector to look over the 1977-era building and that MISD can back out of the purchase within 60 days. The meeting agenda described the property “to be used for future expansion to support the education mission of the district.”
In other MISD action, trustees approved purchasing a black 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe for use by the district police chief, at a price not exceeding $40,000. Layton said the district will affix school police-related markings following the acquisition.
Furthermore, board members voted to take advantage of the first opportunity to pay off Series 2010 building-related indebtedness before the bonds mature, which MISD Business Manager Kim Spencer said would save the district $513,000.
The board also amended the 2019-20 budget for the first time to get expenses within 10% of expected revenues, which Spencer said was required by state law. Spencer said the MISD budget is “in very good shape.”
In another vote, the school board selected Smith, Lambright & Associates, an Athens accounting firm, to perform an audit of the district’s fiscal year that ended Aug. 31 of this year. Spencer said auditors will start work in November and should give their results to the school board in early 2020.
In addition, Assistant Superintendent Sybil Norris presented the district’s Title III Evaluation Report, which deals with immigrants who are English as a second language learners (ESL students) attaining English proficiency and meeting state academic standards.
Norris said during the 2018-19 school year, MISD exited 50 students out of its ESL program. Forty-seven percent of Title III students in grades K-2 advanced at least one grade level, Norris added, while 55 percent of such students in grades 3-12 advanced at least one grade level.