The Van Alstyne Independent School District board of trustees canvassed and approved the bond election results at its May 15 meeting. Pertaining to sales strategies, the board decided to sell the bond in two separate sales. The first bond sale will be on June 26 for $14,500,000, while the $9,500,000 bond remainder will be sold in the beginning of 2018.

Spies stated that splitting the bonds into two sales allowed for the second sale to be bank qualified, reducing the rate of the bonds.

Architect Keith Anderson from WRA Architects and Von Gallagher from Gallagher Construction were present at the meeting to report on elementary school construction updates. The building is currently 90 percent designed, with the outside renderings having been approved.

The exterior design of the building has undergone cosmetic changes since the school photos were shown at the school board meeting on April 17. The new design plans no longer feature the boxy blue design that several board members questioned at the April meeting.

Pertaining to the school, project bids are expected to go out in July, with construction expected to begin sometime in August and opening in August 2018.

Spies said he is excited about the school design.

“There are many aspects of the design that lead to student learning,” Spies said following the meeting. “There will be interactive murals throughout the building that can be used for student engagement as well as areas for students to collaborate in small groups.”

Additionally, the board discussed the possibility of entering into an agreement with lighting company Solar One to provide solar power to the high school in order to supplement building electricity. Board member David Kerr brought up concerns including roof and fire danger due to the batteries needed for the project. Overall, the board members concluded that the potential savings were not worth the potential liability to the district, though the topic may be reconsidered at a later date in light of more information.

Other board updates include approved funding to repair the gym bleachers at both the high school and middle school, approval for the purchase of Chromebooks for the next year, and funding approval for new Latin and Spanish textbooks.