Houston Schools

New parking procedures will be used this year at Houston Elementary School.

Elementary Principal Amy Dill said the district has provided a new parking lot for parents wishing to walk their children to school. It is southeast of the elementary building. Parents dropping off their children should travel east on the south lot, and a teacher will accompany the child into the school. The south lot can be accessed on King Street.

School doors will open at 7:40 a.m., Dill said. There will be no supervision for students prior to that time.

Dill said the plan is similar to the pick-up procedures currently used by the district.
Parents of preschool students are asked to use the same drop-off procedures. Parents picking up afternoon preschoolers are asked to park north of the crosswalk and travel east up Mill Street.

Cheerleaders for the 2009-’10 Houston High School basketball season were selected last week following tryouts.

Varsity cheerleaders are: Ellie Horbyk, Victoria Floyd, Chelsey Williams, Nicole Hooper, Lizi Buchanan, Sarah Pierce, Sarah Barton, Jennifer Belew, Kenzie Scott and Courtney Sillyman.

Selected to the JV were: Dusti Turner, Madison Bonebrake, Lainey Bryant, Mercedes Thornton, Shaylin Garrett and Megan Phillips.

A new middle school at Mountain View will be built at an amount significantly under budget, the town’s newspaper reports. Originally estimated at $7.3 million to $7.5 million, the low bid came in at $6.05 million. A Springfield company is the general contractor. Sixteen companies turned in bids — reflecting a need for work in a tight economy. Only $10,000 separated the lowest and second lowest bids.
The report echoes the thoughts given by a Springfield architectural firm in advance of an issue that was turned down by Houston School District voters in April. That proposal would have constructed a new high school.

For those wondering about the cost of renovation of the old Houston High School structure on the district campus, here’s another voice from Augusta Street…from Mary Lilly Smith, who was quoted in today’s News-Leader. Smith, a Houston native, grew up on Augusta Street.

The story focused on the state’s commitment to historic tax credits and its affect on projects in Springfield.

“Those tax credits are critical to that (redevelopment),” said Mary Lilly Smith, economic development director of the city of Springfield.

Because it’s often twice as expensive to renovate a 100-year-old building as it is to construct a new one, the state and federal historic tax credits entice developers to “make it work financially,” Smith said.

Smith said capping the tax credit program would put smaller communities at a disadvantage over St. Louis and Kansas City, which would likely eat up the available money first.

Here’s a deal that patrons of the Houston School District may have a hard time passing up: The federal government’s stimulus bill – in its current form – would allow Uncle Sam to pay the interest on construction bonds issued by school districts. The school’s board of education has an issue before voters in April. 

The bill would, for the first time, involve the federal government in a significant fashion in the building and renovation of schools, which has been the responsibility of states and districts. It includes $20 billion for school renovation and modernization, with $14 billion for elementary and secondary schools and $6 billion for higher education.

A few people braved slick streets to make it to work today. Dr. Joe Richardson called from his Second Street office today to report that the Houston Education Foundation has undertaken a project to raise funds for the eventual purchase of new sound system at Hiett Gymnasium. 

Two lucky people could have a chance to make a basketball hoop for $10,000 under a contest organized by the foundation.

Persons buying tickets have a chance to have their name drawn to take the shot from half court on Feb 26. First National Bank is the sponsor of the contest.