BY LEW VAIL
CORRIGAN – Although details of the plan were not released pending a review by the State Comptroller's Office, the Corrigan-Camden Independent School District board has approved a tax abatement agreement for a proposed timber products manufacturing plant.
The C-CISD conducted a public hearing Tuesday evening at 6 p.m to hear from interested parties regarding the application for an abatement of school taxes submitted by Martco Limited Partnership.
The board entered into executive session with attorneys, financial advisor and principles of Martco. Returning to regular session the attorneys and financial advisor covered the application form submitted to the Texas Comptroller's office and how the abatement would effect the district.
At present the land in question is on the school's tax roll for ag value, which means it has a minimal taxation value. If the company gives the final go ahead to build the $280 million oriented strand board plant just outside of the Corrigan city limits, the value of the land would change to commercial levels or about $2,500 per acres.
Roy O Martin III, president of the company, spoke of why his firm selected Corrigan for this facility, telling those present that "Your school district is one of the best we have seen while selecting a place for our plant." He praised the superintendent and board members for "caring about the students and their future".
A resolution was made to approve the application, pending a final review by the Comptroller's office for legal correctness, grammar and punctuation; the motion passed unanimously.
During the board's regular business meeting, Sydney King, who was unable to attend the meeting, was recognized for her artwork that won the 2015 Childrenz Haven Super Hero Calendar art contest. Her work is on the cover of the just released calendar.
Also recognized was Samuel Beauchamp, who was an academic all star in cross country.
Members of the C-CISD technology team were recognized for their work, both during and after school, helping with the updating and teaching the new Chromebooks to staff and students alike.
The Technology report showed that all but 40 of the 296 Chromebooks received are checked out. The district also received a grant from Adobe for Photoshop Elements 12 and associated software. This is for a five-year license and is valued at $64,290. A $10,000 grant from ArcGIS Online will furnish geography information to be used in the environments sciences classes.
The district has received from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) almost $400,000 worth of refurbished computer equipment including 900 desktops with monitors, 200 Dell laptops and 35 NC Books along with 70 printers. Over 90 percent of the technology at C CISD is from the TDCJ and almost every campus office is using refurbished computer equipment.
During principals' reports, the high school reported enrollment at 282 and attendance at 96.53 percent. Tardiness has decrease 49 percent.
Board President Sean Burks said he was recently in the building at class change time and was impressed at how quiet and purposeful the students were. Over 100 parents came to the pick up report card event, the Christmas Concert will be Dec. 16,with the bands from the junior high and high school as well as the elementary choir performing.
Regarding attendance, Superintendent Sherry Hughes told the board there are a few children below last the last reporting period, however, they have three transfers from other districts pending. The district does not charge tuition or fees for out-of-district transfers and welcomes applications from students wanting to join C-CISD.
The junior high reported their enrolment at 218 with 97.46 percent attendance.
The journalism class led by Coach Garcia will be starting an online newsletter and Coach Baker is starting an Art Club. All the teachers are working on UIL or club functions, Superintendent Sherry Hughes reported. The academic UIL events will be Dec. 9 and 11.
The elementary campus reported 204 students with 97.32 attendance. They had 99 students with 100 percent attendance during the second grading period. On Dec. 4 the campus received $500 from Polk's Pick It Up, Brookshire Brothers and Exxon to be used for math and science instruction. Walmart in Livingston and Lufkin donated $1,000 each and $500 was given by Sam's Club.
The Primary campus reported that the second grade student swill participate in UIL this month. Over 200 parents visited the campus for the Thanksgiving luncheon and 50 percent of parents attended the report card pickup. The children will travel to Lufkin Dec. 16 to watch "The Polar Express" at the Pines Theater.
The board also held a public hearing on the Early Resignation Program, which allows those para-professionals and teachers who are planning to leave the district at the end of the semester to receive a small bonus for notifying the superintendent before Feb. 20. This allows the district to seek replacements or phase out the position. The bonus amounts vary from $1,000 to a maximum for $2,500 and the amount of money available for this is also capped.
The Corrigan Community Service League has requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the district to assure the continued operating of the Corrigan Heritage Center should the service league cease to operate, thus continuing the museum and other functions of the center. The matter was tabled until January, pending review by the district's attorney.
Hughes reported in closing that the school has adopted the nursing home and each resident will receive a pair of 'skid proof' slip-on socks, appropriate teats or candy which students will deliver during a visit. The items are being paid for by donations from staff and others. The Art Class also has made large Christmas cards to be delivered to businesses in Corrigan.