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Plans unveiled for Cochran Complex, superintendent extended

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Livingston ISD LogoFrom Enterprise Staff

The Livingston ISD school board was recognized for its service Monday night while hearing details on additions for athletic facilities, awards for students and staff, and honors for two elementary campuses in their regular meeting for January.

Will Clayton with Claycomb Architect Associates presented the capital project report on the plans for the expansion at the Cochran Complex, located at Livingston High School. The improvements would include seating and a press box. 

The renderings shown to board members for review reflect that seating will begin approximately six and a half feet above the field level. The visitor side will accommodate 1,268 seats, while the home side will have 4,068 seats. A total of 638 reserved seats will have backs and armrests, and will be located at a higher level, giving fans a great view of the playing field. 

The 2,700 square foot press box is an efficient size that will accommodate special seating and include seats with countertops, offering bi-level seating for home and opposing team coaching staff, press, and include an area to allow filming accommodations, where there will not be glass impeding the camera view. The press box will have an elevator, a kitchen area, and networking equipment storage.

If there are no major changes to the current renderings, Claycomb is ready to move into the construction phase. They will meet with the facility committee in mid-February and mid-March, and plans will be ready to present in mid-May to begin the bid process.

Following this timeline, construction would start in July, and the facility would be ready to use by the fall of 2026. The next step is for architects to meet with the Barry and Clay construction manager, using the expansion details provided to begin getting accurate pricing. The Enterprise will have more on the Cochran Complex in a future issue.

After the closed session, the board extended the superintendent’s contract to 2029 on a 7-0 vote.

The January school board meeting opened with the recognition of Livingston ISD winners of the 2023 Polk County Enterprise Best of Polk County Reader’s Choice Awards.

Winners of the contest at Livingston ISD include best preschool to Pine Ridge Primary - second place; best public school to Creekside Elementary - first place and Cedar Grove Elementary - second place; best local athletes to Jace Morris - first place and Chevy Peters - second place and Audrey Rios - third place; best teachers to Samantha Sanders - first place and Bria Morris - second place and Nicole Murphy - third place; best school board to Bea Ellis - first place and Kevin Grimm - second place and Kevin Wooten - third place; best place to work to Livingston ISD – first place.

“U.S. News and World Reports notified us at the end of the fall semester that two of the district’s schools earned a Best Elementary Schools status because they placed among the top 40% in the state.” Livingston superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “The two campuses are Timber Creek Elementary, which scored well above expectations in math performance, and Cedar Grove Elementary. All public schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare their students for high school.

Out of 4,393 elementary schools ranked in Texas, Timber Creek Elementary is ranked at 565, which is in the top 12%, and Cedar Grove is ranked at 895, which is in the top 20%.

Hawkins led the public hearing on the Texas Academic Performance Report, where he highlighted attendance during the 2021-2022 school year across the state dropped drastically to 92.2%, while Livingston ISD fared better at 95%. The College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) works to ensure that all Texas high school students have access to high-quality pathways to career and college. The Texas Education Agency changed the way they score the data collected across the state. Livingston High School scored at 16.8% and is continuing to move up. The percentage of Texans enrolled in state higher education reflected 46.7%. The data was pulled from the Class of 2020. Any graduates who attended a private university in Texas would not be included in the calculation, nor would a student who attended colleges out of state.

LISD data reflects a socioeconomic disadvantaged status between 70-80% of the student population based on the community eligibility provision that allows all LISD students to eat free breakfast and lunch each school day. The state has LISD listed as 50% socioeconomic status based on their collected data.

Dr. Audrey Young, the representative of the state board of education, presented the Livingston ISD school board trustees with certificates of appreciation in honor of School Board Recognition Month.

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