"Everything's a good idea, but we can't do everything at once," Kilgore ISD Superintendent Cara Cooke said Friday after a special KISD board meeting.
As the board members made their facility "wish list" during the special meeting Dec. 3, Cooke
said, the board as a whole continued to go back to the district's vision (see separate story HERE) to make sure all facility needs stay in line with what is important and will help get the district where it wants to go.
"We're trying to prioritize and be those good citizens by being fiscally responsible and making sure the decisions we make are in the best interest of this district and this entire community."
The first facility priority is expanding the Kilgore High School cafeteria and kitchen area to accommodate the increased student population at the high school.
"We are going to close that campus fall of 2015," Cooke
said, "so I need that cafeteria renovated so that it can hold juniors and seniors staying on campus to eat."
has already contacted Huckabee Architects, which conducted the recent facility study, to discuss getting the project started.
Each of the district's priorities was presented as ideas that Cooke
team could investigate to determine if the ideas were feasible for each campus and project.
When the KISD board decided to move forward with a facility study, Cooke halted discussions between KISD and KC about the Heights building until getting the results of the study.
If KC does not want to move forward with Heights, Cooke
will then look at trying to sell it outright with bids from other entities that have shown an interest in purchasing the facility.
The board had discussed turning Maude Laird Middle School
into another high school campus dedicated to Career and Technology Education, but decided at Wednesday's special meeting it might not be feasible due to its location relative to KHS and the amount of work and money needed to bring it up to meet that need.
The conversation turned toward moving the transportation department and bus barn off the KHS campus and into an area of MLMS
suggested the bus maintenance area might be housed in the gym area where a high ceiling already exists.
Part of MLMS could be turned into an area for receiving and storage with the unused portion of the campus demolished.
If the transportation department moved over to MLMS
, then it would be next to the maintenance building, which is currently located near Chandler Elementary School
"We would just be putting maintenance and transportation all in one location."
"These are only ideas," Cooke
"We're investigating them.
We're listening to community (members and) all constituents.
"We'll be figuring out what to do [at the KHS cafeteria], while we're also talking about what to do about the career-tech," Cooke
"That doesn't mean we're going to do the career-tech right now, but we want to make sure whatever we do with that cafeteria does not interfere with what we will do in phases later with career tech around and outside - whatever the beautiful picture may be in the end."
Tied in with the KHS work will be the CTE expansion and security on campus.
Throughout each phase of the projects, the district will bring each facility to standards spelled out in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"We've set our course for the district, we have ideas about things that we want to do," Cooke
"It's kind of like a domino effect, though.
It's like, you know, we've got to do one thing here before we can do the next thing here, so everything's going to hinge off of everything else."
is now working to get information from her
team and quotes from Huckabee to determine what is possible and bring all of the information she
can to the Dec. 15 regular board meeting.
"We've been trying to take our time and do this right, so we're not going to start rushing now, even with the cafeteria," Cooke
There is no timeline for any of the projects yet, but Cooke hopes to have a schedule by either the December or January board meeting, she
To prepare for the future plans, though, she
and the board members are trying to be strategic with their choices.
"[The board members are] really coming together as a team, and they want to do what's the very best for this district, and it's very evident in their determination," Cooke