The Dumas Independent School District (DISD) Board of Trustees voted Monday evening in their regular meeting, and the Dumas City Commissioners voted Tuesday in their regular meeting to approve an interlocal agreement between the two entities to construct a water drainage system at the sight of a new elementary school in Dumas, a lot off of North Maddox Avenue between Braden Street and North 8th Street.
According to the agreement, the total cost of the project will be $1,132,000, all of which will ultimately be born by the school district, paid for from funds raised in the more than $100 million school construction bond that was approved by voters in 2019. That bond, among other things, funds the construction of two new, consolidated, elementary schools in Dumas that will replace the four existing schools.
In recent months district officials have chosen and purchased sites for the new schools, both along Maddox Avenue. The new school in the southern part of town, which will serve students currently attending Sunset and Morningside elementary schools, will be located across from the Moore County YMCA on an agricultural lot between Maddox and 14th Street.
The northern school will combine the student bodies of Hillcrest and Green Acres elementary schools. That site has rainfall runoff issues that had to be solved before the district could construct a school. According to Dumas City Manager Arbie Taylor, the neighborhood suffers significant flooding during heavy rainstorms. Because paving the lot would exacerbate the flooding in the area, the district had to work with the city to come up with an acceptable plan that would at the very least insure that construction of the new school would not make things worse. According to Taylor, a drainage system for the school site could even help reduce, though not eliminate, neighborhood flooding. He said city officials intend to construct additional drainage system improvements in the future along North 6th Street that, along with the school's drainage system, they believe will eliminate the flooding problem.
The system detailed in the agreement will consist of a detention pond on the school site that will be wide and relatively shallow. During rainstorms it will capture runoff. During dry weather, which is most of the time here, the land will be shallow enough to be used for recreational activities. The water from the pond will drain into an 18 inch sewer pipe that will run from the school site south to North 6th Street then east to Robin Road where it will tie in to the existing city sewer.
According to Taylor, the DISD will be responsible for overseeing constructing of the detention pond, designed by OJD Engineering. OJD originally designed the whole system, but with most of it being proposed to be located on city easements and near other utility lines, city officials preferred to oversee the construction of the sewer portion of the project themselves. They brought in Brandt Engineering to design that part. Upon completion, the city will own and maintain the sewer line, which will be dedicated exclusively to the school's runoff, and the DISD will own and maintain the detention pond.
As for the schools themselves, rising construction costs have pushed the price of the original designs above what was approved in the bond measure, forcing BGR Architects to go back and revise them to cut costs. DISD Superintendent Monty Hysinger said in the board meeting Monday that the new designs were nearly ready and he believed that the original plan for construction to begin in March could still be met.