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PG board officially names new elementary school

PG board officially names new elementary school

June 14th, 2019 by Jennifer Middleton in Texarkana News

Margaret Fischer Davis speaks to the community about the development of the new Pleasant Grove Elementary School that's being named after her on Monday, April 22, 2019, in Texarkana, Texas. The groundbreaking event members of the community and elementary students attend where the new school is going to be built on the corner of Galleria Oaks Street and Christus Drive.

Photo by Hunt Mercier /Texarkana Gazette.

Pleasant Grove Independent School District's Board of Trustees officially named the new elementary school and accepted a gross maximum price for the project during their regular meeting Thursday.

The board took a vote to name the school, located at Galleria Oaks and Christus Drive, the Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary School. Davis was a PGISD superintendent for 23 years. The district broke ground for the building in April.

Funds for the project come from a $19.9 million bond voters approved in May 2018 for the school, increased security and technology improvements on all the campuses. The district acquired the 12.054 acres for the new school through a land swap with CHRISTUS Ark-La-Tex Health for 4.35 acres at the current elementary site.

The board also approved a gross maximum price of $14,866,127.58 for the project. Nabholz Construction representative said the project is on schedule and that they will work with the district to continue to reduce costs as construction continues. The initial draft GMP was $15.3 million.Pirtle said he had been working closely with Nabholz and Steve Lewis of Little Rock, Ark.-based Lewis Architects to reduce the GMP without significantly affecting the aesthetics of the building. Construction is expected to be complete in July 2020.

Pirtle also gave an update on other district construction projects. He said the surface of the middle school track has been peeled and they hope to have it completed and striped soon, but said he did not know exactly when it would be complete. He also said that internet cabling was complete at the high school and the middle school, halfway complete at the intermediate school and that elementary work should be complete within the week.

The board also approved hiring Todd Marshall as high school principal. He served one year as assistant principal at PGHS and previously served three years as elementary principal in Atlanta Independent School District. Prior to that, he served as a teacher, coach and assistant principal at Texarkana Independent School District.

Superintendent Chat Pirtle said a committee considered 30 candidates for the position.

"We went through the process and Mr. Marshall has many great qualities and is someone I am confident will continue the leadership at the high school," he said. "He brings a passion about Pleasant Grove and consistency and will continue to build the campus. He knows the students, staff and community and has built trust with those groups. I have confidence in Todd, Pleasant Grove High School and Pleasant Grove Independent School District."

Mendy Sharp, the previous principal, resigned in May to work for Texarkana College.

In other business, the board approved the financial report presented by Derick Sibley, the district's director of finance. He said they had collected 95 percent of the district's $13 million tax levy and that the district's cash position was $32 million at the end of May.

The board also approved the purchase of a Sectra visualization table to be used for the high school health science program. The $83,700 table will allow the student to go beyond the "perfect cadaver specimen" to show actual case studies and pathologies on both humans and animals from around the world.

An update to the high school course guide was also approved, with an AP environmental systems class added to the selection.

The board also approved a donation of six sets of shelf compartments to the Pleasant Grove Middle School Star Steppers dressing room from Williams Memorial Methodist School.

Pirtle said enrollment as of May 23 was 2,177, as compared to 2,125 in May 2018.

The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, July 11 in the Central Services, 8500 North Kings Highway, Texarkana, Texas.

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