By Kathi Bliss
As the Lockhart Independent School District prepares for the departure of Superintendent Dr. Jose Parra at the end of this month, questions linger as to what direction the District should take next.
The LISD Board of Trustees took an important step during a special-called meeting on Monday evening, appointing Deputy Superintendent Janie Wright as the Temporary Interim Superintendent.
Wright has been in LISD for nearly 40 years, as a teacher, principal and administrator, and the Trustees voted unanimously to put her at the helm as the District transitions into new leadership next year.
“There are things that we have to think about, including the length of the interim process,” Board President Rick Womble said. “But for now, we know that [Wright] is a talented and dedicated administrator who knows the people, the policies and the procedures of this district and will good to help the District navigate this transition.”
Prior to Parra’s departure, he will work with Womble and Wright to establish a “supplemental duties agreement” for Wright, as a search firm embarks on the quest to find a permanent replacement for Parra.
In other business during the meeting, the Trustees hosted an extensive interviewing process, ranking architects and project managers to lead the charge on upcoming projects, which are proposed to include a sweeping renovation of Lockhart High School, the construction of a new elementary school, and district-wide facilities improvements on nearly every campus.
The Trustees met with two architectural firms and three project-management firms, each of whom made presentations about what they could offer the District in the months leading up to the projects, including a proposed bond election tentatively planned for next spring to fund the sweeping changes.
After nearly four hours of interviews, discussion, questions and answers, the trustees settled on Huckabee and Associates, of Austin, to put together the conceptual drawings of the high school renovation, and Owners’ Building Resource as the program manager for the entire improvement schedule.
The Huckabee firm proposed to begin hosting charettes as soon as next week, to receive input from the community, including students and teachers, about the needs that should be addressed in the high school renovation.
Owners’ Building Resource is no stranger to the project, as the firm was hired by the District earlier this year to consult with the Facilities’ Improvement Committee, a group of citizens appointed by the Trustees to tour each LISD campus and review not only the state of each campus, but the improvements that need to be made to enhance each student’s education.
Motion on the district-wide projects are expected to begin in earnest after the holiday break. Follow future editions of the Post-Register for information on the facility renovations and bond package as the story develops.