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Bertram Elementary School improvement costs go up

Bertram Elementary School renovations

The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a second guaranteed maximum price for Bertram Elementary School improvements. Coupled with a previous GMP for the steel package, cost of renovations is now $10.3 million. Image courtesy of BCISD

Renovation costs for Bertram Elementary School will come in higher than first anticipated — by about $2 million — but the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District will use cost savings, contingency funds, and its fund balance to cover the difference.

During the BCISD board meeting Monday, Feb. 21, trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price of $9.2 million for Bertram Elementary renovations. In January, the board approved a $1.1 million GMP for the steel package for campus improvements. Together, this brings the total cost of the project to $10.3 million.

“This exceeds the original bond budget for this project by $1,930,699,” BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett stated in an email. 

Previously, officials acknowledged inflation had pushed up the costs of labor and materials for the project.

In May 2021, BCISD voters approved $52 million in bonds. The Bertram Elementary renovations were included in Proposition A for facility improvements and accommodations for student growth.

The project includes:

  • a new two-story classroom wing, increasing capacity to 700 students from 450 
  • connecting corridors
  • renovating the activity building, classrooms, and a nurse’s station
  • replacing the flat roof
  • expanding and repairing the parking lot
  • repairing the activity building’s stucco
  • reconfiguring the walking track
  • replacing windows in the gym

The project also calls for replacing the HVAC systems in the cafeteria and gym, adding new parking lot lights, and replacing ducts and dampers in the activity building.

During the meeting, the board also approved the purchase of 282 Speed Screens. McBurnett explained that these devices will be installed on windows of classroom doors and used during lockdowns. 

The screens have a peephole through which someone inside the room can identify a person on the other side, while that person cannot see inside the room. Burnet High School piloted the use of Speed Screens. With this purchase, they will be used across the district.


The board also approved the 2022-23 school year calendar. 

“Given the challenges of education during and after the pandemic, the administration proposed a calendar that attempts to balance the needs of teachers with the needs of families to plan ahead for non-student days,” McBurnett said in his email. “The resulting 2022-2023 school year calendar includes strategically placed non-student days for professional learning and instructional planning, including days after holiday breaks to promote teachers’ ability to truly rest on non-contract days.

“The calendar includes the necessary minutes of instruction for students with an adequate bank to cover typical weather events while still meeting the community’s preferred end-of year timeline,” he continued.