Marshall ISD school board approves $400K project to upgrade high school lights

School district using left-over money from recent bond to fund renovation

Marshall ISD school board approves $400K project to upgrade high school lights
(Source: WBTV graphic)

MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - Marshall ISD’s Board of Trustees voted to continue their step-by-step renovation of the school district’s aging 30-year-old high school at its meeting Thursday.

The current project, which has an estimated cost of about $400,000, involves replacing the high school’s existing indoor and outdoor lights, including the ones in the parking lot, with more cost-efficient LED lighting, according to Dr. Jerry Gibson, Marshall ISD’s superintendent. The cost of the light upgrades was part of the school district’s last budget, Gibson said.

Gibson said the contractor who will be doing the work on the lighting at the high school will be working in the evenings and the weekends while school is still in session.

The Marshall ISD superintendent added the school district will be targeting other areas that need to be addressed at the high school with items on the agendas for the meetings for the next three months or so.

Gibson explained that several years ago, the school district tried to pass a large bond to build new campuses and renovate the high school. That bond, which included about $30 million for the high school renovation, election failed, but a subsequent one for less money did pass.

Marshall ISD used the money from the bond to build three new elementary campuses and a junior high campus and renovate the Sam Houston STEM Academy, Gibson said. The district moved into the new buildings in September of 2017.

Gibson said a contingency amount was included in the requested bond amount, and the construction projects wound up costing less than the bond amount. As a result, that extra money drew interest until the school district spent it.

Marshall ISD used the left-over bond money and interest to start the renovation of the high school. He said previous renovation projects at the high school included work to its bathrooms, renovating its science labs and updating the lights at the girls’ softball field.

He added that the district hopes to address additional issues like upgrading the bleachers in the basketball arena, replacing ceiling tiles, and building a new on-campus ag building to replace the current one, which is located across town from the high school, with items on the board agendas for the next three months or so. Gibson said those renovations will be budgeted expenses.

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