By Cristin Ross

New Summerfield Independent School District’s high school expansion project is getting closer to a start date.

The NISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved using a construction manager at risk to oversee the project.

“We’ve used this method before on our other building projects,” NSISD Superintendent Gregg Weiss told board members during Monday’s regular meeting. “It’s worked well for us and I recommend we continue with it.”

Weiss explained the construction manager at risk would be in charge of making sure the project is finished on time and on budget.

“It absolves the district of a lot of the responsibility of the construction aspect,” Weiss said.

The board also approved advertising for bids for a construction manager at risk.

In April, trustees hired Goodwin-Lasiter, Inc. of Lufkin — which specializes in architecture, engineering and surveying — to oversee the expansion of the high school building.

“They did good work on the high school and the cafeteria,” school board President Mike Davis said in April.

The expansion will add 14,700 square feet to the existing high school. The new wing would include additional classrooms, a computer lab and a science lab.

The project will allow the district to implement the state’s “4x4 Plan,” which calls for students to take four years of math classes and four years of science classes through high school.

Board members approved a cap of $2 million for the project during the March school board meeting.

In other business, board members approved to hire Chase Thomas of Arp as a teacher, assistant basketball and cross country coach at New Summerfield Junior High School.

“We received two application for the position, and he was the top guy,” Weiss said. “I think he’ll do us a real good job.”

Thomas graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler and this is his first teaching job.

The position he is filling became available when athletic director and NSJH head basketball coach Michael Meredeith opted to retire at the end of this school year. Assistant coach Jason Davis will become the new AD and head basketball coach.

New Summerfield ISD board members also approved on Monday:

• refinancing the cafeteria lease purchase agreement;

• contracting Armko Industries Inc. to oversee repairs on the roofs of the junior high and elementary school buildings;

• an expenditure of about $9,000 to upgrade the district’s accounting and student software;

• advertising to accept transfer students; and

• a bid of $410 for a 16- by 20-foot portable building to be moved off school grounds.

The board also tabled approving a facilities fee schedule, pending further study.

The New Summerfield Independent School District board of trustees meets at 7 p.m. every first Monday of the month at the NSISD Administration Building, 13307 State Highway 110 S., in New Summerfield. The public is welcome.

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