Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Lewisville ISD approves gas lease agreement
There will be air testing inside and outside of the school building near the well.
The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved a lease agreement to allow natural gas company Titan Operating, LLC to drill near the Lewisville High School Killough Campus property in north Lewisville.
This comes after Titan filed a request for a Rule 37 exception last year to be allowed to drill closer to LISD property than what is currently allowed.
If the Rule 37 request had been approved by the Railroad Commission of Texas, the company would have been able to drill up to the district's property line and could extract minerals from underneath the district's property. The district would not have been compensated for those minerals. LISD had filed a protest against the Rule 37 exception request.
“After reviewing and negotiating the lease to ensure the safety provisions as well as financial provisions were as the district desired, we voted to accept the lease for the Killough campus only,” said board secretary Brenda Latham.
At Killough, the pad site for the 601-acre unit is located at the northeast corner of McGee Lane and Kansas City Southern Railway, and it is located about 2,500 feet away from the campus.
Latham said there were several safety measures put in place with the agreement. Among those was air testing inside and outside of the school building near the well. LISD will conduct its own testing of air inside the school buildings and will be paid a lump sum yearly to cover the costs of the testing.
“This allows us to test for all the different particles we requested and have our own evaluations rather than rely on the gas company,” Latham said.
Outside air testing will be completed in accordance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirements.
Another safety provision was distance of the drill site location. This is limited to being located within 600 feet of the LISD property line rather than LISD structures.
Williams Exploration has sought a similar agreement to drill near the Lewisville High School Harmon Campus. But as of Monday, LISD had only received a lease agreement from Titan.
At Harmon, Williams' closest pad site is located about 3,500 feet away from the school's building. The pad site involved in the Rule 37 case is more than 5,000 feet away from the building.
The board also approved the 2012-13 academic calendar.
The Academic Calendar Committee, which consisted of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, met three times in the fall and came up with Option A and Option B. The choices were put on the district’s website for residents to vote on, and almost twice as many people chose Option B, which the committee recommended to the board.
The first day of school will be August 27, Spring Break will be March 11-15, and the last day of school will be June 6. Students will get a full week off for Thanksgiving.
A major difference in the two options is that under Option B, Winter Break runs from December 24 through January 4 with students returning January 7. Option A called for students to get out of school earlier for the Winter Break but returning earlier.
Also Monday, the board got its first look at the schematic plan for the new aquatic center, which will be located at the Lewisville High School Harmon Campus, located on FM 3040 in southwest Lewisville.
The 1,200-seat natatorium will service Lewisville, Flower Mound, and Marcus high schools, as well as the community.
Features of the center include a 75-foot competition pool, with 25 feet of it divided off for a diving area, and a smaller multi-use pool.
The multi-use pool will provide flexibility because it will be kept at a different temperature, most likely between 82 and 85 degrees. That will allow for a mix of uses, such as rehabilitation. The competition pool is typically kept at a cooler temperature, usually 78-79 degrees. It will also be more shallow, 3-4 feet deep, to make it easier for youth swimming lessons.
Other components of the facility include a multi-purpose room, a weight room, separate dressing rooms for the students and the community, and a lobby area. It will also include retractable bleachers to provide more room for times when big events aren’t taking place.
Jonathon Aldis of SHW Group presented the plan to the board. Aldis was one of more than 20 members of a design committee that developed the design with input from district administrators, swim coaches, students, faculty, and administrators.
“To have us be part of the schematics process was amazing,” said Shannon Gillespy, Marcus swimming coach. “They held true to keeping us involved. It was exciting that they listened to the coaching staff.”
Gillespy and other coaches said there are several aspects of the facility they like, especially the configuration of the competition pool for diving board room.
“This allows us to swim and dive at the same time,” said Sherry McGuire, the district’s diving coach. “Right now, our start blocks are under the diving board. So we have to have diving on a separate day. This way, we can do them at the same time like at the state meet. It makes everyone feel like they’re part of the whole show.”
The board will vote on the $20 million project, which was approved by voters in the 2008 bond election, next month. If approved, construction could begin in the fall, with the completion date set for the fall of 2013.
In other business, Tommy Ellington, executive director of student services, discussed the possibility of rezoning an unpopulated area south of Hwy. 121 and north of S.H. 544/Parker Road in Carrollton.
With the exception of the Castle Hills North subdivision, which contains 78 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade, there are no residents in this area.
However, the city of Carrollton recently rezoned about 300 acres to single family/detached and multi-family in the Hebron High School zone.
Ellington said there is a 350-unit apartment under construction with an additional 350 units possible. There are also 400 lots set for development in the coming months, he said.
Ellington said that would make it more difficult for Hebron to handle more students as the school is expected to have 4,200 students by 2020, while The Colony High School is expected to have 1,800 students. That’s not taking into account the incoming dwelling units.
The Castle Hills North students would be grandfathered into Hebron.
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