Trustees hear of savings on utilities

The Liberty Hill Independent School District realized almost  $143,000 in savings on utility bills during the last fiscal year as a result of improvements to lighting and cooling systems.

During their regular monthly meeting on Oct. 15, school trustees were briefed about the impact of an energy management system put in place at each campus through a contract with Snyder Electric.

Last spring, the district received a $32,000 rebate from Pedernales Electric Co-op’s Commercial Lighting Rebate Program as a result of the lighting and cooling retrofit.

Superintendent Rob Hart said he was pleased with the savings, which were guaranteed by the company.

“I’m very pleased with the report. Not only is this helping us financially, but we were able to upgrade equipment and it shows (environmental) conservation on our part,” he said.

Also Monday, trustees heard an update on ongoing construction projects throughout the district.

Representatives of the architectural firm said despite some heavy rainfall in recent weeks, the weather has not created delays at the site of the new high school. William Smith of Huckabee Inc. in Georgetown said 45 weather days were built into the project and only 16 have been used to date. Crews are working on Saturdays and the project is still on schedule for a target move-in date in summer 2013.

Smith said exterior stone veneer and a metal roof is being installed around the academic wing, masonry walls are being installed at the student commons and administration areas, and exterior windows are also being installed. Some parking lots have been paved, and the exterior of field houses and concession stands are nearing completion.

“In about two weeks, you’ll start seeing the (football) stadium coming up out of the ground,” Smith said.

“I expected more disruptions, but it seems like all is going well,” said Board President Clay Cole.

Perhaps the most disruptions created by renovations have been at Liberty Hill Junior High. But Hart said even at the Junior High, students, staff and parents appear to be adjusting well.

Hart said Bill Burden Elementary School saw the highest attendance rate in September with 98 percent while the lowest at Liberty Hill High School was still high at 97.48 percent.

He said Average Daily Attendance for September was 2,742 districtwide. The budget for fiscal 2012 adopted by the Board in August was based on an ADA of 2,715.

The Board unanimously adopted various policy updates recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards. Some of those related to personnel matters, retention and promotion of students, and student and parent complaints and grievances. The Board Policy Manual can be found on the school district’s website at www.libertyhill.txed.net.

The Board took no action following a 20-minute executive session on personnel. All Board members were present Monday.