The Commerce Journal

September 20, 2012

School board accepts bid to build Agricultural Learning Center

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The Commerce ISD Board of Trustees approved a bid to construct the Agricultural Learning Center for $39,250.

Currently Commerce is the only school district in Hunt County to not have an Agricultural Learning Center.

“We are getting nothing but excitement from students and parents,” Richard Meeks, agriculture science teacher and FFA advisor said. “We’re looking at a facility that will serve several purposes for our students.”

The building will be 70 by 75 feet, will house small livestock on the South side and large animals on the North, and is scheduled to be completed in January.

“We are doing this as economical and conservative as possible,” he said. “Most of the labor and interior utilities are going to be donated to us from different companies.”

Superintendent of CISD Blake Cooper said the High School is down 42 students from last year, meaning the school will receive less funds than the previous year.

“This is not positive news,” he said. “Our high school has the two smallest classes in the district, with only 87 sophomores.”

Cooper said all of the withdrawals are legitimate, with most of the students who left because of their family had moved over the summer.

“We have got to get more students,” Cooper said. “Hopefully through the school year we will get more kids coming in to the school.”

Julia Robinson, director of curriculum for CISD, said there has been a positive reaction from both students and teachers on the iPad initiative.

“It’s just amazing what the teachers are learning,” she said. “We received a $50,000 Texas Lending Grant to get the rest of our kids iPads. So by the second six weeks, all of our High School kids will have an iPad in their hands.”

The next School Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.