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Dallas ISD will spend an additional $26.3 million for construction at Thomas Jefferson High School, one of three district campuses heavily damaged by an October 2019 tornado.

The district’s trustees unanimously approved the cost increase during its monthly board meeting last week, but not without consternation.

Several trustees expressed their displeasure for the last-minute way in which the items appeared on the January agenda.

Normally, trustees would get briefed on changes two weeks in advance of any vote. But updated figures for the renovation and new construction at Thomas Jefferson were given with less than a week’s notice. Trustees also didn’t get much in the way of communication with district administrators until two days before the vote.

“The fact that we’re discussing this, with only a few short days’ notice, is a really alarming place for us to be as trustees, as we consider the magnitude of what a project like this has for a community like TJ,” trustee Karla Garcia said.

A year ago, the board approved nearly $132 million in construction projects at two adjacent campuses, selecting to salvage — not completely rebuild — some of Thomas Jefferson’s structures while approving a new prekindergarten-through-eighth-grade campus on the neighboring site of Cary Middle School. Cary was completely destroyed by the tornado.

Tornado damage is seen an aerial view of Thomas Jefferson High School on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Dallas.