The Alvarado Chamber of Commerce will meet at noon Thursday, March 7, at Alvarado Junior High School.

The meeting, which is usually held at the Alvarado ISD district office, is being held at the junior high so chamber members and guests can get a first-hand look at the condition of the current junior high and the need to construct a new facility as proposed by the AISD school board, chamber president Jason Reynolds said.

The program will be presented by the Chisholm Trail 100 Club, following which there will be a tour of the junior high.

The catered meal features a  Bread Platter (croissants and white or wheat rolls, Deli Platter (rolled turkey, ham, and tuna salad), Cheese Platter with American and Swiss or provolone.
There will also be a Relish Platter with lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced red onions, sides of chips or pasta salad and a fruit salad dessert.
Drinks will be bottled water, diet and regular soda.
The cost will be $8 payable at the door.
To RSVP for a meal, visit www.welcometoalvarado.com/meeting-rsvp-march-2013.html.

On Feb. 11, the AISD school board voted unanimously to call for a bond election for the purpose of building a new junior high school and finishing the second floor of the high school.
The bond election will be held Saturday, May 11, for $38.2 million to build a new junior high school ($36.5 million) plus renovations and improvements to the second floor of the high school for career technology and college duel credit programs ($1.

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7 million).
Early voting begins Monday, April 29, and ends Tuesday, May 7.

Problems with the current junior high school building

On Nov. 12, Citizens Bond Planning Committee representatives Jennifer Bumgardner and Jerry Pritchard presented the 15-member committee's recommendation to the board, which was to demolish the existing junior high school but keep the existing gymnasium.

The CBPC determined the current junior high was inadequate because classroom sizes are below Texas Education Agency standards, the building does not meet electrical and fire code regulations, the electrical infrastructure cannot support current classroom technology, systems such as HVAC, plumbing and windows have exceeded  their life expectancy, the building contains asbestos and the bus and parent vehicle traffic is congested.

The CBPC recommended demolishing the current junior high except for four classrooms and the existing gymnasium, which will be used for district and community purposes.
Originally, the CBPC had recommended a bond for $36 million.
But, on Feb. 4, after listening to members of the Alvarado ISD school board in a joint meeting express concerns about the technical training classes that could be housed on the second floor of the high school and how important it is to include finishing at least half of the second floor as part of the proposed bond issue, the CBPC agreed to increase it's original construction price tag and support a bond issue of $38.2 million.

Advantages of the new junior high

The proposed new junior high will be built to accommodate 750 students with all programs housed in one building.
The CBPC also proposes:
• Classrooms for grades seven and eight that meet state size requirements with the capability to support future classroom technology.
• Computer labs and science labs with prep rooms.
• A band hall, choir hall art lab and theater classroom.
• Library with computer research lab.
• A combination cafeteria and auditorium with a stage and seating for 750.
• A main gymnasium with seating for 1,000 and a second practice gymnasium.
• Access control for campus security.
• New parent and bus traffic drives and additional parking.

At the high school, the bond will enable the second floor to be finished to create space for the district's growing career technology program and college dual credit programs.
The renovation will provide health science classrooms and a health science mock hospital lab, audio-visual computer labs, a TV studio, classrooms and lecture rooms.