Carthage ISD will replace the high school gym’s roof and has also approved a number of large purchases.

Trustees unanimously voted to fund the projects at their November meeting. Projects are being funded through bond monies or federal ESSER grants.

Trustees voted to spend $502,000 to replace the roof of the high school gym. They awarded the bid to Reneau Roofing of Garrison and said the project had a 45-day completion window this summer.

“They’re expected to get materials — they said we would start at the end of May, very first of June,” Maintenance Director Andy Dawson said. “The reason the 45 days is important is because we would interrupt volleyball because the 45 days is going to put them — they’re already going to have volleyball practice going. I need 14 days to refinish the gym floors that we do every summer, so now we’re at 55 days to 60 days, which is going to get us losing volleyball practice, cheer practice and all the other things that go on in the gym throughout the summer because there will be no activities allowed in the gym when they’re doing the roof.”

Trustees also approved the purchase of an infectious disease control system and bi-polar ionization system for a total of $1.545 million that will include air purification systems for HVAC systems. The bid was awarded to Storer Equipment of Shreveport and is being paid for with federal ESSER grant monies. ESSER funds are restricted to things that go towards coronavirus mitigation or prevention.

The district will also spend $78,210 to buy two trucks for the technology department and $324,684 for three school buses. Money is coming from bonds to pay for those items.

Transportation Director Renee Risinger told trustees she was going ahead and asking for the school buses now because of rising costs — Risinger said costs had gone up nine percent since the district purchased buses for the 21-22 school year. Carthage ISD usually buys a handful of school buses each year through bond monies to replace the oldest buses in the fleet.

“They expect a continual rise in prices, and if we go ahead and lock this in for 30 days, we’ll be able to get these buses by the end of May/first of June,” she said. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game.”

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Meredith Shamburger serves as the regional editor for Carthage and Kilgore. She has previously worked at the Longview News-Journal, the Marshall News Messenger and The Dallas Morning News. Meredith graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2011.