Just minutes before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. meeting, this message from Highland Park ISD trustee John Bunten was circulated to the Belles Boosters:
Through the efforts of Dr. Orr, Dr. Coker, Jon Polando, and Brady Ream (A&P Construction) over the past week there seems to be a logical solution to the AP testing, volleyball season and pep rallies situation. The solution is to start and complete the asbestos removal within the main gym by the start of the AP testing schedule. We will be putting up the scaffolding above the seating areas but not on the main gym floor prior to the testing period. This will allow the testing to be completed without any noise or unsightly disruption within the gym proper. After the testing is completed construction will start at break neck speed. Condensing the construction time line of 4 ½ months into a 3 month 1 week time frame will require 60 hour weeks and tremendous coordination by A&P with all subs to complete the work by the first week of school. This of course comes with the burden of some extra costs, but since we have been blessed with construction savings throughout the project, we will be able to handle the added costs.
This solution allows the very important AP testing for our students to continue within the confines of the HPHS campus without the added stress of relocating for some test dates by some of the students. We probably have a little over 600 students taking approximately 2,400 AP tests. As you might remember, these tests allow our students to place out of thousands of hours of undergraduate courses which saves their parents untold amounts of money or allows the students to obtain two or three majors in pursuit of their academic goals and careers. It also solves the issue of pep rallies having to move to another location for the football season and allows the many hundreds of students who put on and perform at the pep rallies a chance to showcase their hard work as so many groups before them. Lastly, it will allow the girls’ volleyball team to play their district games in the main gym and not have to be sidetracked during their run up to a strong playoff run next season. Unfortunately, the girls will have to begin preseason practice and some early non district games at the new middle school facility, but I think everyone will enjoy the new 1,000 seat gym during this period.
As the chairman of the Construction Oversight Committee, I apologize for the confusion and heartache that many of you experienced over the past several weeks, but I feel comfortable with the new schedule and that the district and our contractor can complete the work as outlined. The solution will be presented at the Board Meeting this evening, but please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.