Brownsville ISD projects move forward

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A view of a Brownsville ISD school bus Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after school dismissal. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees got an update Tuesday night on Sams Memorial Stadium and the Resaca Technology Center, in a meeting that also included a skirmish on the 2023-2024 budget.

Sams Stadium is undergoing a $4.7 million upgrade that includes seat refurbishment, 250 additional parking spaces and upgrading the restrooms.

The stadium’s playing surface and track is also being upgraded after more than 20 years of use.

Responding to questions from board members, district architect Manuel Hinojosa said work on the track upgrade would not take place during September, when football season is in full swing.

Several board members said they had gotten calls from people who were concerned about the project running up against football season and who also had noticed not much work was taking place at Sams now that graduations are over.

Hinojosa and Deputy Superintendent for Business and Operations Nellie Cantu said the problem could be a lack of personnel on the part of the contractor, M&M Contracting. Hinojosa said his office was calling M&M daily to urge completion of the project.

Regarding the track, Hinojosa said the stadium’s artificial turf and track running surface are being replaced, which involves replacement of the underlayment.

Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said the district has met with the contractor repeatedly to push the project forward and assured the board that it would not be done during football season.

The $6.5 million Resaca Technology Center being built in the former Resaca Elementary School is scheduled for completion in the fall. The facility will house all of BISD’s technology infrastructure. Construction is to be complete by late fall but is pending arrival of the generator and installation of the transformer, Cantu said.

The board voted 4-3 to approve several personnel matters, with those voting against saying next year’s employee compensation plan has not yet been approved, so they couldn’t vote on positions that are not yet in the plan.

The compensation plan is part of BISD’s 2023-2024 budget, which must be approved by June 30.

The members voting against were Carlos Elizondo, Frank Ortiz and Minerva Pena. In favor were Jessica G. Gonzalez, Daniella Lopez Valdez, Denise Garza and Eddie Garcia.