ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene ISD’s August 8 meeting showcased, in part, the payoff of plans carried out over the summer. HVAC systems, building automation, and Lighting are almost completely upgraded at seven out of nine of its campuses – Shotwell Stadium and the AISD admin building being the outliers.

“The goal was to get a lot of that done this summer, I think, like four air conditioning units remain,” said School Board President, Daryl Zeller.

(Images above) Abilene ISD & Schneider Electric: RTU Equipment Installation at Crockett Early Head Start (Aug. 8, 2022)

On paper, these upgrades are poised to make AISD campuses more modern and energy efficient. The board then looked to two highly anticipated projects that have yet to begin: The Shotwell Stadium press box renovation, and the construction of two “All sports facilities,” one at Cooper High and one at Abilene High.

“Unfortunately, construction costs have increased since we started this process,” said Zeller. “But we knew that was going to happen and we anticipated this.”

The maximum budget for each project was approved by the board by a 6-0 vote. Shotwell’s press box project is now to not exceed $10,496,256 and the Sports facilities budget to not exceed $9,375,565.

The board said it would keep a cautious eye on the budget of future projects – although still well under its yearly budget.

“We’re gonna kind of slowly ease into those. We know one thing,” Zeller continued, “things aren’t getting any cheaper.”

The board agreed that failure to act on these budgets would now cost time and could cost them even more money in the future.

For now, the district has a cautious optimism outlook, as the possibilities of a new school year lie in wait.

“We’re really gonna focus on getting back to normal… What a normal school year looks like,” added Zeller.