By Chris McGuinness
Killeen Daily Herald

The Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees is set to vote tonight on an architect for a

$5 million project that will provide new science labs to four of the district’s schools.

The board will be asked to award the project to the Fort Worth-based Huckabee and Associates, which was provided a cost estimate of $804,507 to the district.

The estimate includes $350,000, or 7 percent of the project’s total cost, as the firm’s compensation. An additional $454,000 is estimated for civil engineering, landscape, surveying and other consultants.

The money to fund the project was awarded to the district June 7 through a grant from the Texas Education Agency. The funds will allow for the construction of 16 science labs at the four schools.

Killeen High School and Shoemaker High School will each get three new labs, and Ellison High School and Harker Heights High School will each get five.

“The labs will be up-to-date and compliant with all the state requirements,” District Executive Director of Facilities Services Max Cleaver said. “They will be large spaces, and will be equipped with document cameras, projectors and all the proper technology.”

The district has until June 2012 to produce a construction contract for the project, and has until June 2013 to complete the project.

The board also will vote to approve bids on contracts for academic awards, drug testing services for students, automotive batteries and fuel services.

In addition, the board will hear information regarding the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course testing requirements. The board may also vote to suspend some of its policies in order to accommodate the requirements of STAAR.

The board’s agenda also includes the approval of two memorandums of understanding, and the appointment of alternate district hearing officers for the 2011-12 school year.