Bryan school board members on Monday approved the construction of additional security fencing around all the elementary schools and intermediate schools.

The perimeter fencing will be 6-feet high and made of chain link with a black coating.

The project, which will be completed by Aggieland Construction, does not include the fencing around Merrill Green Stadium, but it will go around the new Bonham Detention Pond created by the city. The project is expected to cost $1,089,720, which is part of the 2019 bond package voters approved in May.

At sidewalks and some driveways, there will be gates to allow controlled access during the school day, Bryan Energy & Construction Project Manager Paul Buckner said.

With schools next to parks, he said, the city authorized the school district to fence in everything that is within the Bryan school district’s property boundaries. One exception was made at Bowen Elementary School where the school’s playground is on city land. The city allowed for that particular piece of city property to be fenced in to provide a safe playground site.

Some areas of the park that are on school district property will be closed to the public during the school day, but will be open again outside of school hours. There will be signage indicating those changes, Whitbeck said.

Though the board unanimously approved the construction of the fencing 5-0, trustees asked district administrators to determine the official end of school for when the gates will be open and also research the best operation of the gates to ensure they are never left locked outside of school hours or unlocked during the school day.

“I have a concern that we’re going to be relying on somebody there to physically lock it and unlock it every day, every gate,” Board President Mark McCall said.

Buckner told the board he expects the project to be completed by mid-March.

The board also approved the purchase of a new serving line in the cafeteria at Anson Jones Elementary School after a state grant helped purchase one of two needed serving lines at the school. The new lines would replace the existing ones.

“We’ll actually have more serving line wells and actually more cold space,” Director of School Nutrition Services & Operations Sundy Fryrear said.

Each new serving line costs $66,150.

The first line was purchased with leftover funding from 2017 TEA equipment grants, which the district originally was denied. The stipulation with the surprise funding was the district had to use it before Sept. 30.

Though the grant was worth $78,000, Fryrear said, the state told the district they could not use the excess to go toward the second serving line.

The additional line will be purchased using designated school nutrition funds.

Also during the meeting, the board approved 2019-2020 District Improvement Plan, which has been updated to reflect changes made in the latest Legislative Session. Those changes include updated reading and writing standards to be taught together and the addition of full-day pre-kindergarten.

Trustees also approved a right of entry agreement with the city of Bryan that will allows the city to proceed with fill work and survey along Coulter Drive as it prepares to reconstruct 4,000 linear feet between South College Avenue and East 29th Street that will involve the addition of sidewalks, bike lanes and improvements to the underground storm sewer, water and sanitary sewer lines. Buckner said the city also plans to replace traffic signals at 32nd Street and Carter Creek Parkway and East 29th Street and Coulter Drive.

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