Watson Field as viewed from Google Maps. (google.com/maps)
FLOYDADA — Highlighting student achievement and securing facilities for future Whirlwinds were the top agenda items at Tuesday night’s FCISD Board Meeting.
The students, two each from 1st, 4th and 7th grades, along with two high schoolers, were recognized at the start of the meeting; along with members of the two campus cafeteria staffs.
Business Manager Alicia Bice then gave a report on the fiscal tax year that is coming to an end, telling the board that more than 98 percent of those taxes have been collected, setting the district up on a solid foundation moving into the next tax year.
The board also heard proposals on upgrading smartboards at Duncan Elementary and increasing district compensation for the current Texas Tech student enrolled in the university’s “Grow Your Own” internship program. Dr. Gilbert Trevino explained how the program has had 6 recent students turn into quality teachers for the district, noting that by going through the program each has agreed to teach at Floydada for a set number of years.
Following approval of those items the board heard from Dr. Trevino on proposed upgrades to Watson Field, home to the Whirlwind baseball team, including a plan to completely redesign the playing surface by converting it to artificial turf. The district bond package approved by voters in 2017 mandated a minimum of $250,000 be spent on renovations to the field, with the original intention being to turf the infield. Tuesday night Dr. Trevino told the board the school district has more than $494,000 remaining from the bond, and that upgrading the full playing surface along with making other improvements would cost the district $1.5 Million, with much of that money coming from surplus operating budget.
“The fund balance is healthy,” Dr. Trevino told the board. “It would be a great opportunity, and a chance to do right by the kids.”
In addition to hosting Whirlwinds games, Dr. Trevino told the Record they expect Floydada would be able to host baseball playoff games much like they now do for other sports.
Dr. Trevino said he will also be talking with city leaders on upgrading the shared concession stand, assessing complex fencing and moving to LED lighting at the stadium.
The proposal passed with a unanimous vote following discussion. Dr. Trevino and Athletic Director Todd Bandy mentioned the plan for Hellas Construction to begin work on the previously-approved softball field and tennis courts on Monday, October 18 would now be able to include work on the baseball field as well with first use of each of the facilities planned for next spring.
Other items of the evening included gathering names for an advisory committee and starting the ball rolling on offering a retention incentive for teachers. The committee, known as a Redistricting Advisory Committee, is required by the state to meet once 2020 census numbers are released to see what if any changes need to be made to current trustee district boundaries.
The retention incentive, discussed as part of the ‘future items’ agenda, begins the process for the district to look at using funds already available to reward teachers that stay with the district for the 2022-2023 school year, similar to a plan recently implemented by Lockney ISD. While no specific dollar amount was discussed Tuesday evening, the plan will likely be taken up at either the November 15 or December 14 meetings.