In honor of Santa Fe Elementary School’s railroad heritage, the Cleburne ISD school board approved the option Monday to designate the new campus’ mascot The Santa Fe Express.

The idea for using The Express as a name didn’t come from the board members. It came from the staff who will be at the new school when it opens soon.

“We talked about it and felt that we wanted to stick with the idea of trains,” said Coleman Elementary Principal Susie Sarchet, who will take over at Santa Fe next year. “But we didn’t want to be called the Trains or the Choo-Choos.”

After considering the options, The Express seemed to fit best because it addresses Cleburne’s historical roots and is named after a very efficient and state-of-the-art train, Sarchet said.

Santa Fe Railroad for years employed many at its service shops in Cleburne.

Santa Fe is one of three new elementaries under construction in CISD, each housing grades kindergarten through five. Santa Fe is off Fergason Road near U.S. 67. The new Adams Elementary is east of South Brazos Road off of County Road 429, and Irving is off of Hix Road south of East Kilpatrick Street.

The board approved several bids Monday for items and services at new schools and upgrades to other existing district campuses.

For Adams, Irving and Santa Fe, the board approved the purchase of classroom computer projectors for $65,250, projector mounting kits for $57,520, telephones for $35,497 and laser printers for $30,078.

Waco company Muhl Landscaping’s bid won the landscaping job for the new schools for $226,434.

At the Cooke and Coleman campuses, the board approved door replacements for $26,925.

Science labs will be built at Coleman, Cooke, Gerard and Marti elementary schools for $473,352.

Also at Cooke, which will become an elementary school beginning next school year, lockers from Indeco Sales Inc. were approved for $59,993.

An $82,600 paint contract with Eagle Painting was approved for schools needing paint touch-ups across the district.

For Cleburne High School, BMA Architects representative Mike Powell, a consultant, spoke to the board about repairing and replacing portions of the school’s roof. The board approved a bid for $1,074,165.

Also approved was a $118,620 bid with Texas Scenic Co. to replace lighting, curtains and stage rigging at the Don Smith Performing Arts Center at CHS.

The board also approved continuing service with Compass Bank for depository business. Board member Brad Allen, who works for Compass, abstained from the vote.

The board also heard a construction report from Baird/Williams President Blair Williams on the progress of the three new elementary schools.

“The three schools are going along very well,” Williams said. “The race to the end is narrowing.”

The construction of Adams Elementary is further along than at the other two campuses, as it has been for much of the construction, Williams said.

“Final cleaning is under way, and floor waxing will begin this week,” he said. “We had hoped to be basically finished with Adams at this time, but the rain is just killing us on the side work. But it will come together.”

Construction at Irving and Santa Fe is also moving along well, and those schools should open soon after Adams, Williams said.

“Three or four months ago [Santa Fe] was about seven or eight weeks behind the leading job, and now it’s about two weeks behind the lead job, so it’s caught up dramatically,” Williams said.

Adams is expected to open June 6, with Irving following June 20, and Santa Fe on July 3, Williams said. The openings are staggered so furniture and other items can be moved into each campus separately, not because of construction delays, Williams said.

“They’re going to be beautiful schools,” he said. “The architects have done a wonderful job of working with your administration team to get these schools to where they are, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

School board members spoke favorably on the state of the new schools.

“They look so wonderful,” board President Donna Boles said. “It’s a good thing, folks, it’s a real good thing.”

Philip Navarrette can be reached at

817-645-2441, ext. 2337,


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