As the school year comes to a close, the Sherman ISD Board of directors approved about $691,000 of maintenance projects and other purchases.

The expenses, which were approved last week during the district’s monthly meeting include projects aimed at preparing for the transition to the new high school and other changes that will across the district in the next year.

“Most of these projects stem from previous discussions we’ve had over Transition 2020 upgrades,” said Tyson Bennett, assistant superintendent of finance and operations. “So a lot of it is ongoing maintenance, deferred maintenance.”

Among the purchases that were approved during this month’s meeting was new playground equipment at Perrin Learning Center.

Starting next year, the district plans to open two new Pre-K classes at the campus, with more expected in the future.

In anticipation, district officials said the campus needed additional playground equipment beyond what is already in place there.

The board approved $49,734 for the project, which will include a $17,000 discount to the district.

Another project that was anticipated as a part of transition 2020 is the upgrading of lighting at Sory, Neblett and Wakefield elementaries.

The project will see the removal of florescent lighting in exchange for new LED lighting. This will make the three campuses the first in the district to be upgraded to LED lighting aside from the new Sherman High School, which is under construction.

“This is a part of the transition 2020 as well,”Bennett said. “Obviously with LED it is a more current lighting that provides more lighting than your florescent light.”

The district expects that the improvements to Neblett and Sory will take about $105,840, each, while Wakefield will cost $54,735.

However, the district expects to pay off these projects through energy savings in about two-and-a-half years.

“This is a part of the transition 2020 as well.” “Obviously with LED it is a more current lighting that provides more lighting than your florescent light.”

Under the approved purchases, the district also plans to acquire three new vehicles. This will include two 2019 Ford Super Duty F-250s for $32,200 each and a 2019 Suburban for $42,596.

For the final expense, the district plans to invest about $91,000 in turf for the new high school’s courtyard. Initially, the district planned to use sod, but decided to upgrade using unused contingency funding.

Bennett said the turf would help keep the area usable following inclement weather.

“The main thing is that is an area that is going to be used for outdoor learning,” he said. “Through inclement weather, this is going to give us the ability to not stay off of the courtyard area. We will be able to access the courtyard area and less maintenance.”

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at