Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Balmorhea ISD continues updating campus facilities
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Wed., May 7, 2003 -- Balmorhea Independent School District students
and staff were like kids in a candy store at the beginning of May, after
they moved into their newly remodeled cafeteria with additional dinning
space and a new walk in freezer.
"They were very excited," BISD Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz said about
the improved facilities, one of several improvements the district's buildings
are undergoing. "We just moved into the cafeteria last week."
She added that the little kids were more excited because they now had
bathrooms in the cafeteria area where they then did not have to go down
"The bathrooms came from the old dressing rooms in the old gym," Saenz
said. Those facilities became available as the school prepares for construction
of the school district's new gymnasium.
Other then the new bathrooms, additional dinning area and a walk in freezer,
the cafeteria also received refrigerated air, a new roof and extra storage
space, Saenz added.
She said that the cafeteria is one of the two projects that has been
completed since they began to remodel and rebuild in the summer of 2002,
following passage in May of 2001 of a $1.6 million bond issue for Balmorhea
The Ag Building was the first facility to be completed, according to
"The Ag Building is like an Ag Teacher's dream," she said. "It has a
classroom, a tool area and a feeding area. It is just a bigger area for him
and his students."
With the ag and cafeteria projects completed, Saenz said that the renovations
to the high school are about 80 percent completed.
"The old high school will be a technology wing," Saenz said. "The building
was completely gutted out. Only the slab, the frame and the outside remained."
She added that the building would now have bigger classrooms, and will
house a community lab along with a business and high school lab.
"There will be four other classrooms," Saenz said. "The rooms will be
for Language Arts and testing rooms for special programs."
Saenz said that currently the classes that normally were held in the
high school wing of the school building have been moved to classrooms that
are not being used at that time.
"The teachers see it as temporary," Saenz said. "School is almost out
and they will have new classrooms for the 2003-04 school year."
Not only will there be new classrooms for the upcoming school year, there
will also be a new gymnasium by 2004.
The ground breaking for the new facility took place last week and Saenz
said, "The foundation and the slab will be poured next week."
The $1.6 million bond issue was designed to bring the Balmorhea ISD facilities
into compliance with a 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, was approved
by a 168-55 margin. Saenz said prior to its passage in May of 2001 that
the State's Office of Civil Rights cited the school district in September
of 2000 for the second time for not being in compliance with federal ADA
The old gym was partially redone in 1985 following a fire at the school,
but is still not in compliance with the handicap regulations, she said.
"Our old gym is not handicapped accessible," Saenz said. "So we are out
The gym will be to the south of the current facility, and just north of
the high school football field. "The gym will have a concession stand that
will open from the outside for our football games as well as from the inside
for our basketball games," Saenz said.
She said they had to close a street for the construction of the new gym,
in order to connect both the football field with the gym.
After the construction of the new gym, Saenz said that Phase Three would
be the renovating of the old junior high building where a medical clinic
would be housed.
"Kids can be seen by a nurse without having to be taken out of school,"
She added that the clinic would be equipment to handle taking x-rays of
children or bandaging them up when injured.
"The nurse will be in contact with the doctors at the hospital in Pecos,"
The remodeling of the clinic will begin in the summer and be done by
August of this year as well, Saenz said.
As construction continues, Saenz said that she saw it as additional square
footage being added to the campus.
"The construction is all being done through grant and bond money we have
received," Saenz said
Pecos FFA girls capture state dairy judging title
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., May 7, 2003 -- The third time was the charm for four members
of the Pecos Chapter of the Future Farmers of America, as they came away
from their third trip to state with a championship in Dairy Cattle Judging.
The four earned national qualification for their Career Development Event
Team, by topping a field of 53 qualifying teams from across Texas last Saturday
at the state contest, hosted by Texas A&M University in College Station.
Members of the state champion team are: Amanda Armstrong, daughter of
Cole and Bana Armstrong; Lauren Martinez, daughter of Jimmy and Sharlene
Martinez; Kaci Harrison, daughter of Roger and Angela Harrison; Sarah McKinney,
daughter of Brenda and Clay McKinney. Martinez's sister Shelly was also
an alternate for the team.
Kaci Harrison brought home a medallion for fourth high individual by
turning in a score of 435 out of a possible 485, while Amanda Armstrong
was the ninth best judger in the state, scoring 424 points. Sarah McKinney
ranked 17th overall, while Lauren Martinez placed 31st.
The Pecos team won the contest by 11 points, scoring a 1,275, the highest
score from recent years, out of a possible 1,455. Henrietta placed second
with a 1,264, Garrison was third with 1,254 points, followed by Hondo with
a 1,243, and Hempstead with 1,237 points.
The Pecos team had qualified for the event by placing fifth in their Area
II event held at Texas Tech University on April 12. Dairy cattle teams are
required to place six classes of live animals, including cows and heifers,
as well as make an evaluation of pedigrees where they evaluate animals by
their genetic information in terms of milk, protein and fat content from
their parents' performance records. They must also evaluate 15 physical
traits on two different cows and score them according to accepted guidelines.
Then they must take a test over basic dairy management information.
"After we'd figured our score, we were pretty sure that we'd be in the
top 10 or maybe five with our score, but we knew it would be tough to win,"
said advisor Tim Flanagan. "The students were very excited."
Flanagan said he really enjoys watching the student's faces when they
win a contest. "This was the first dairy judging contest we'd ever won.
We'd been close several times, but when it came time to really work and
accomplish, these kids really got it done," said Flanagan.
These teams develop a student's self-esteem and teaches them sound reasoning
and develops their abilities to make concrete decisions. This makes the
third year in a row that the Pecos FFA Dairy Judging Team has qualified
for the state event.
Two years ago the team, consisting of the same four girls, placed 15th,
and last year they improved seven spots, putting them in the eighth place.
This year, they moved up another seven notches, which is "no small feat,"
according to Kaci, to win the opportunity to represent Texas at Nationals
later this year in Louisville, Ky.
All the students agreed that they are excited about their state win and
going to nationals. Harrison, a junior at Pecos High School, has been involved
in FFA since third grade and all through high school.
"I'm a little bit nervous, but it will be an exciting experience," she
said. "It will be fun, we'll do everything we've been doing, but we'll work
Harrison said that they are doing extra research and will work hard on
reason because they haven't had to do that before.
She plans to attend Texas A&M University, following graduation and
major in pre-med.
Armstrong, a senior at PHS, has been in FFA since her freshman year.
"We're ready to go and represent Texas and bring Nationals home," said Armstrong.
"We've been practicing and studying extra hard and I just feel very excited."
Armstrong plans to attend Southwest Texas in San Marcos after high school
graduation and major in agri-business.
Lauren Martinez, a senior, has been involved in FFA since junior high.
"It's exciting, but I'm a little nervous," she said. "I wasn't anticipating
this, but we're just going to study really hard and do our best."
Martinez said that a team from Texas has never won it, so the group of
girls plans to do their best. "And maybe we can be that team to win it."
McKinney, a junior at PHS, has been involved in FFA throughout high school.
"I'm just overwhelmed, it hasn't set in yet," said McKinney. "I just can't
believe it, I'm very excited," she said.
"We'll just be doing out best to represent Pecos and Texas and hope we
win," said McKinney. "Mr. Flanagan works us really hard, so maybe it will
She plans to go into the medical field, following high school graduation.
This made the fourth dairy team Flanagan has had qualifying for the state
event in nine years. The Ag Mechanics team, which won their Area II contest,
was in attendance at the State Event at A&M and placed a very respectable
21st. The Land, Range and Pasture, and Dairy Products competed at their
State Event held two weeks ago at Tarleton State University in Stephenville
and placed 9th, 16th, and 18th, respectively.
Many hours outside the regular classroom time is spent in preparation
for competition. The dairy team had to learn time management skills in order
to be able to balance their busy work and school activities around dairy
contests and practices.
Council to swear in new members at meeting
PECOS, Wed., May 7, 2003 -- Town of Pecos City Council will hold its regular
council meeting, Thursday at 7 a.m. in the Council Chambers and will swear
in two current councilmen and one former member to two two-year terms.
Incumbents Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez and Councilman Frank Sanchez kept their
seat on the council in last Saturday's election, while Pecos High School
Principal Danny Rodriguez will replace outgoing Councilman Johnny Terrazas.
Rodridguez returns to the council after a one-year absence.
During the meeting the council will discuss and consider the renewal
of the juvenile curfew law after a public hearing is held on the issue.
The council will also discuss and consider a resolution canvassing the
city election of May 3, 2003, the tax abatement agreement with Trans Pecos
Foods, the construction site for the skateboard park, the sale of surplus
equipment, and the final plans for water improvements systems project Part
I - the replacement of a 250,000 gallon tank at Ward County Well Field and
Part II - refurbishment of the two three million gallon ground storage tanks
amendment No. 2 of the South Worsham Project.
Approval of the minutes of its regular council meeting held on April
24 and the accounts payable report will be made by the council.
"Relay for Life" bake sale planned at SSB
PECOS, Wed., May 7, 2003 -- A Bake Sale is scheduled for 9 a.m.,
Friday in the Security State Bank Lobby.
Homemade "goodies" will be for sale and all proceeds will benefit the
Relay for Life.
PECOS, Wed., May 7, 2003 -- High Wednesday 96. Low this morning 48. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Southwest winds 10 to 20
mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny and windy. Highs near 90. West winds 10 to 20
mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the
mid 50s. Friday: Mostly clear. Highs in the lower 90s. Saturday: Partly
cloudy and windy. Lows in the mid 50s. Highs in the mid 80s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise