SSISD board OKs contract about Civic Center bylaws

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Nov 13, 2007 - Sulphur Springs Independent School District approved a contract Monday which gives them the same privileges and responsibilities regarding use of Hopkins County Regional Civic Center as the district has had in the past, with only one change.

The school district, under the terms of the contract, will continue to have a minimum of two members on the 11-member Civic Center Board of Directors, who will all be subject to the same term limits.

The Civic Center Board of Directors can make recommendations and suggestions, but the governing body of the Civic Center complex will now be  the four county commissioners and the county judge.

Sulphur Springs Independent School District will be allowed six annual “specified school events” that are “educational in nature and a part of the school curriculum.” The list of dates is to be presented by the SSISD superintendent to the Civic Center manager, who will put them on the calendar “as previously contracted events allow.”

It was noted that on dates historically needed by the district, the manager is to “take the initiative to not book any event,” but won’t assume responsibility for state-mandated changes.

Any additional use of the facility will be available to SSISD when that date has not been scheduled by some other group or organization. The district will be responsible for any special arrangements for activities at the CIvic Center. For any fund-raising event that is not one on of the six guaranteed free days, the district will be charged the commercial rate for use of the facility. Fees for sound equipment or piano usage will be totaled at the end of each performance and the bill mailed to the superintendent. The teacher overseeing events will be responsible for locking all doors and turning off all heat and air units, must be present at all times when students are, and is responsible for returning the facility to its original state.

Also under the contact, SSISD will receive the utility bills for the Civic Center but will only be responsible for the first $12,000 in charges. The county will be required to reimburse the district all additional fees after the school pays the first $12,000 in electric bills.

The contract was approved by the school board on a unanimous vote. 

Sulphur Springs ISD officials openly complained when county commissioners decided earlier this year to alter the bylaws of the Civic Center Board Inc.

SSISD has a special stake in the Civic Center — when the facility was built in the 1970s, the school district deeded 12 1/2 acres, as well as $300,000 to help build the project. In essence, it was a long-term investment. In return, the school district would be able to designate six dates each year for school events, and could use the facility on other dates when the Civic Center was not reserved by another group or organization. That meant SSISD did not have to build an auditorium on the Sulphur Springs High School campus.

Later Monday night, trustee Judy Gillem nominated Jackie Brice to serve on the Civic Center Board  of Directors, noting that Brice had expressed interest in the post at an earlier time. Trustee Carolyn Thomas seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Also during the session, a number of Head Start documents were approved, and Gillem nominated Thomas to again serve as Head Start liaison for the current school term. Brice seconded the motion which carried with all voting for Thomas, who agreed to serve again, to stay in the post.

In other business, SSISD staff members were approved to serve on the textbook committee which will choose mathematics texts and programs for grades kindergarten through fifth grade this year based on district textbook coordinator Tommy Panter’s recommendation. Staff members included: Joanna Foster, ECLC; Susan Kennon, Austin Elementary; Jacy Moore, Bowie Elementary; Vicki Newsom, Lamar Elementary; Gail Ramey, Travis Elementary; Suetta Armstrong, Douglas Intermediate; and Superintendent Patsy Bolton.

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