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Hays Free Press
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June 21, 2017     Hays Free Press
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June 21, 2017
 

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+ FROM ASHES County comes together to help iconic Wimberley business. - Page 1C Hays Free Press June 21,2017 Page 3B PHOTOS BY JIM CULLEN Austin muralist Wiley Ross, a Fuentes Elementary parent, is leading some FES artists in an effort to bring life to the campus stage with a mural highlighting the school's namesake, Susie T. Fuentes. Stars Art teacher Jayme Salinas and Ross came up with the concept and FES Principal Regina Butcher gave the idea her approval. The huge image is taking shape this week. Helping Ross are Enelisi Hernandez and Diego Lara, as well as Jace Juarez. , BY MOSES LEOS Ill rium will be located at the YMCA's proposed 85-acre A $5 million pledge Camp Cypress project, from Hays CISD toward which will be located construction of a natato- along Old San Antonio rium owned and operated Road in Buda. by the YMCA of Austin is The camp, which has part of a proposed agree- a projected total price ment that could grant the tag of $20 to $22 million, district first access to the would be a "world class facility, camp environment" and Per the agreement, is proposed to have 250 which was up for discus- cabins, a 450-seat amphi- sion at Monday's board of theater, more than five trustees workshop, Hays miles of hiking trails and CISD would have a 30- two 600-foot zip lines, year lease on a 25-yard, Finck said. 10-lane covered natato- Finck said the camp is rium, or swimming com- "all about the kids" and plex. Trustees could take the YMCA is building it to action on the agreement help with critical social at the June 26 meeting, issues facing the com- James Finck, president munity. of the YMCA of Austin, "It's not just for Hays said Monday the natato- CISD," Finck said. "We're "It's not just for Hays CISD ... We're building the new model of an urban camp for kids to get out in nature and discover and learn." - James Finck, president of the YMCA of Austin building the new modelFM 967. of an urban camp for kids "There will be no other to get out in nature and swimming pool that I discover and learn." know of in the country for At the front of the a high school that will be camp property would be surrounded by this type Hays CISD's $33.9 million of environment," Finck Elementary School 14, said. "You will be without which was approved by a doubt, be the envy of district voters as part of other high schools that Proposition 1 of the May want to compete." 2017 bond. The cam- The natatorium, which pus would replace the is covered, would house Buda Elementary lower the district's two current campus, located along varsity high school swim- ming teams. The facility would have lockers for up to 50 students for all Hays CISD high schools, and would have the flexibility for informal water polo matches or scrimmages. Hays CISD would be able to operate conces- sion stands and collect revenue from it. Finck said the YMCA would be responsible for operations costs, which is projected to be $3 to $4 million over the 30-year lifespan of the pool. The YMCA projects the pool opening by August 2018. Lance Clary, Hays High varsity swimming coach, said he was excited at the opportunity to provide more space for his ath- letes. He also believed the facility could expand par- ticipation in high school swimming at Lehman and Hays. Clary said the swim team is an exclusive program as there isn't enough space for all students who try out to participate. The Hays and Lehman swim teams have practiced at the Hays Communities YMCA for a decade, but each team is only allow two lanes. "Given 10 lanes over two lanes, we could double, triple or even quadruple our program, for Hays and Lehman," Clary said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to move forward with this SWIMMING, 4B BY MOSES LEOS III Questions over the scope of Hays CISD's new strategic design plan led district leaders to hold off on adopting the measure until June 26. Trustees Vanessa Petrea and Esperanza Orosco all advocated on "finessing" the plan before the district opts to decide on imple- menting the plan. Hays CISD's strategic design plan is a shared, long-term vision for the direction of the school dis- trict. The plan was crafted by the district's strategic design team, which in- cluded a citizens com- mittee, which conducted workshops in February and March. But Petrea raised con- cerns that the workshops were conducted during the day, which could have prevented parents from participating due. Tim Persall, Hays CISD assistant superinten- dent, didn't have an exact number of parents who attended the workshoips, which encompassed six days. However, he said some parents could make the six days for the workshiop, while others could only make four to five. Orosco didn't feel comfortable taking a vote on the plan as she believed it was rushed and didn't capture "the spirit of an employee friendly organi- zation." She also asked staffto flesh out the plan more, while also ensuring the community understood the action steps. Orosco said the community may not be able to measure the plan with "words that we don't understand." Orosco motioned dur- ing the meeting to post- pone the item indefinitely, but it failed due to a lack of a second. "I want the community to be clear to what our goals are as a district," Petrea said. Trustee Willie Tenorio said the board should also discuss whether the new strategic plan would supersede any of the exist- ing goals the district has currently. Orosco said she wanted to ensure the district's new superintendent has some ownership with the plan and will have some input on the process. "They are going to be the face (of the plan)," Orosco said. Tenorio said he would like to see a mechanism that's made public, so constituents can see the progress of the district's plan. "It's extreme transparen- cy and it engenders trust, so people can see specifi- cally what we've promised to do, and see what's getting done or not getting done," Tenorio said. BOARD TRUSTEES DISMISS POSSIBLE BOND PROJECT MANAGER POSITION Several Hays CISD board trustees balked at the proposition of the district possibly hiring a manager for its 2017 bond projects. Holly Raymond, Hays CISD board trustee, said she was not a supporter of creating positions for a temporary need. District officials are pro- posing to hire a bond proj- ect manager, who would be responsible for manag- ing the work of staff and contractors constructing district facilities, according to district documents. The manager would also work with district staff, its consultants and construction management firms to provide technical assistance in executing the district's facilities master plan. Raymond said there would always be projects going on, and that in her experience, firms can handle similar tasks "a lot better." "We're not creating a position we may have to terminate at some point," Raymond said. "There's a better way to go about it." Merideth Keller, board president, was also not in favor of the bond project manager position. One of Keller's concerns was that the salary for the bond project manager wasn't added to the fiscal year 2018 budget, even though district officials knew they could have to manage a .$250 million bond. Carter Scherff, interim superintendent, said the salary for the proposed po- sition is $60,000 per year. COST RISES IN LEHMAN TURF REPLACEMENT "Hidden conditions" found during replacement of the artificial turf at Lobo Field at Lehman High might reqttire $25,000 ad- ditional dollars. Board trustees discussed the additional cost, which SCHOOL BOARD, 4B + i |Jilt:i i I| Ji