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The Texarkana, Ark., School District's Board of Education approved a construction manager for the middle school/junior high project during its regular meeting Tuesday. Members approved a contract with Clark Contractors of Little Rock for the project.

The new school will be built on a 31.743-acre tract of land north of Interstate 30, between Jefferson Avenue and Crossroads Parkway. TISD purchased the land from Wommack 6 Corp. for $955,816.50. Funds for the new building come from a bond restructure voters approved in October 2017, which generated $20 million for the new school.

The board also approved a $15,067 bid from Richardson Fence and patio for awnings at North Heights Junior High School to cover three sidewalk areas. The areas are the rear patio of the school, walkways near the bus lanes and the sidewalk near the rear door. Other bids were received from Texarkana Tent and Awning and RBT Construction-Roofing.

The awnings will be paid for through the $14.8 million Magnet Schools Assistance Program Grant the district received from the U.S. Department of Education in 2017. The five-year grant allows the district to continue the science, technology, engineering and math thread from the elementary to the middle and high school levels. Called the Montage Project, the grant is one of 32 the Department of Education gave to schools nationwide.

The purchase of a large color image press/printer from Office Equipment of Texarkana for $79,750.45 was also approved. A request for proposals was published in November and December for the printer, and the district received two proposals, but the other vendor withdrew. The printer will be used to recruit students and highlight TASD's project schools. It will be paid for through the magnet grant.

Members also approved a price increase to their contract with SSC, which provides custodial services to the district. The additional $6,620.56 will be paid to the 13 employees that work in the district to reflect the state's increase in minimum wage from $8.50 per hour to $9.25. The 2018-19 contract runs through June.

In other business, the board approved setting the annual school election date as Nov. 5. The state authorizes districts to choose from the third Tuesday in September or the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

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