Final hurdle cleared for delivery of water service to new high school

By SHELLY WILKISON

Liberty Hill school trustees on Jan. 21 confirmed the contractor who will construct the transmission line for water service to the new high school.

Superintendent Rob Hart explained that Skyblue Utilities Inc. was chosen by Chisholm Trail Special Utility District to do the work, but the school board was asked to approve the selection.

Providing water to the new high school and athletic complex on State Highway 29 west of Liberty Hill has been a lengthy process stalled at times by legal roadblocks put in place by  former city officials.

However, Hart said those issues have been resolved and the district is ready to move forward on installation of the water lines — a project that will be complete just before school opens in August.

The project will be completed in two phases — the most complicated being installation of a 16-inch water main that will run down County Road 200, go under the railroad tracks to County Road 277 and onto the school property. A storage tower will be constructed on site, and Phase 2 should be complete by mid-August.

Phase 1 will provide water to the property by early May through an 8-inch main. Hart said this part of the project may not provide enough water to meet legal fire flow requirements, but it should be enough to finish construction to the facility and allow some students to use the new campus for summer camps. Hart said he believed the school district could obtain permits from the fire department for temporary occupancy in the summer.

Trustees learned Monday that construction of the new high school and athletic facilities continues to be on schedule despite heavy rainfall in the area earlier this month.

Also this week, the Board approved joint election agreements with the City of Liberty Hill and Williamson County to hold a trustee election May 11.

School board places up for consideration this spring include Places 6 and 7, currently held by Shawn Roberts and Tony Stephens, respectively. The first day to file for a position is Jan. 30.

The Board also approved a series of resolutions regarding the district’s investment policy, designated investment officers and provided for their training, and added First Southwest as an investment firm.

Trustees also approved an agreement with ESC Region 13 Regional Day School Program for Deaf Shared services.

In other business, the Board suspended a local policy that required the implementation of an end-of-course exam counting 15 percent of a high school student’s final grade.

Hart said the Commissioner of Education had delayed implementation of the law pending anticipated legislation this spring that will undo it.

“I don’t see it (the law) coming back in any way,” said Hart.

Following a 20-minute executive session, the Board voted to accept the resignation of Murray Lord at the high school and voted to hire Stephanie Blay as a third grade teacher.

Liberty Hill Junior High’s National Junior Honor Society made a presentation to the school board Monday as part of January’s School Board Recognition Month. The club presented letters of appreciation to the elected officials. Elementary students also showed their appreciation by drawing pictures and writing thank-you letters.

Stephens and Mrs. Roberts were not present Monday. Trustee Alfie Perrin arrived 15 minutes after the meeting started.