San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


by BRAD ROLLINS

An appointed advisory committee has recommended that trustees ask San Marcos CISD voters in a May election to approve the sale of $80 million in bonds to pay for new, expanded and renovated facilities.

Proposed San Marcos CISD capital improvement projects:

New facilities

  • $12.7 million: Pre-Kindergarten campus
  • $6.1 million: Phoenix Learning Center
  • $26.6 million: Football stadium
  • $11.44 million: Natatorium
  • $9.6 million: Student activity complex
  • $3.5 million: Administration building

Subtotal: $69.64 million

Renovations and additions

  • $4.6 million: Mendez Elementary
  • $8.3 million: Miller Middle
  • $6.1 million: Goodnight Middle
  • $820,000: Support Services

Subtotal: $19.82 million

Renovations

  • $5.5 million: Hernandez Elementary
  • $1.7 million: De Zavala Elementary
  • $1.65 million: Districtwide security upgrades

Subtotal: $8.85 million

Grand total: $98,610,000

Downloads

» Advisory committee recommendation presentation [pdf] » Facilities assessment summary [pdf]

The broad package of capital improvements endorsed by the 19-member group includes construction of pre-Kindergarten and Phoenix Learning Center buildings; renovations or additions at three elementary and two middle schools; and a new administration building, stadium, student activity complex, and indoor swimming pool.

All told, the projects will cost $98.6 million as estimated by Daren Kirbo of Huckabee architects, the Fort Worth-based firm hired by district administrators.

Committee co-chair Mark Newton said the group shaved about $21.4 million off Huckabee’s original $120 million proposal and settled on $80 million as a figure they think voters can support.

“Everything that we talked about is not a Cadillac version. [The package] is needed for our students. It is needed for our community. But there is the reality of what can pass and what we can afford,” said Newton, the First Baptist Church pastor who chaired the group with Bobby Pacheco, a commercial salesman at Tuttle Lumber.

Trustees answered the recommendation with a barrage of pointed questions for Superintendent Mark Eads during a specially called meeting on Monday. Trustees told Eads to schedule a workshop next week to examine the proposals more closely.

“I don’t know where these numbers came from. I’m not real comfortable making a decision for an $80 million bond. I need to see more than what we’re seeing,” said trustee Judy Allen, who said construction of suitable pre-K facilities should be the district’s top priority, as did trustee Lupe Costillo.

Others questioned the need for a $26.6 million stadium or a $11.4 million natatorium when Texas State University and the city of San Marcos allow the district to use their facilities for football games and swim practice.

“What are needs and what are wants? … If you did an assessment in any district — or if if you sent a home inspector into anyone of our houses — they could probably come in and say this needs to be done, and that needs to be done, or whatever. … Clearly there are needs that every campus has, but I don’t know of any district that goes back and addresses every single thing that needs to be done,” trustee John Crowley said.

Making debt payments on 25- to 30-year bonds will require a seven-cent increase to San Marcos CISD’s property tax rate, currently set at $1.35 per $100 in property value, the district’s financial advisor, Dan Wegmiller of Specialized Public Finance Inc., told trustees.

After twice rejecting major capital improvement program packages early last decade, San Marcos CISD voters in May 2004 approved selling $122.7 million in bonds to pay for four new and five renovated campuses plus a Support Services building for maintenance and transportation departments.

Citing escalating construction costs, the district ran out of money before completing all the projects and trustees had to return to voters in 2007 to ask for an additional $14.3 million in debt capacity.

An election will have to be called by March 1 to make the May ballot, Eads said.


CORRECTION: This story originally said the advisory committee was appointed by Superintendent Mark Eads. Nominations were made by school board members and administrators and all the nominated committee members were appointed, Eads said.

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67 thoughts on “San Marcos CISD trustees consider $80M bond election

  1. Because there just isn’t anyplace we could get any more academic improvement, for $26.6 million.

  2. Huckabee Architects never proposed $120,000,000 in bonds.

    A marketing firm out of Houston that Eads hired did some research and found that $90-120 million was the “sweet spot” for selling a bond package to voters. Once the $40,000,000 sports complex got their piece everyone else fought over the rest.

  3. As someone that already pays school taxes for children that I did not propagate, why should i be compelled to support spending millions of dollars for pre-K facilities that would be doing the work that typically ” non-property tax paying families ” would utilze as free daycare for their broods? Social engineering must end, if you make kids it is time that YOU PAY FOR THEM AND TEACH THEM SOMETHING YOURSELVES! Just saying…JLB 🙂

  4. JLB,

    I pay plenty of school taxes, but choose to send my kids to the Master’s School. The academic education that my kids are receiving far surpasses what is even possible within the framework of the public school system. Teachers are forced to teach to tests instead of teaching the kids how to learn. My 6th grader is studying things that I was not taught, within the public school system, until my junior year in High School. I wish the SMCISD would focus more on the “independent” part of their name and rid themselves of the regulations that come with the dollars they receive. The Master’s School cost per student is around $5,000 per year. I wonder how much the public school system costs per student per year? What level of education are the kids receiving for those dollars? How many SMCISD 6th graders are actually reading and writing on a 6th grade level or above? I certainly don’t want any more tax burden, but would consider it if I knew that kids in my community were going to benefit academically because of it.

  5. Actually, the responsibility falls on all of us, and the repercussions (economic, crime, etc.) impact all of us, whether we care to face that or not.

    All the same, a giant bond with 1/3 allocated to football doesn’t sound very appealing.

  6. Gene, I’ll put my two public school kids up against your Master’s School kids for $20/point on the STAAR, TAKS, SAT or ACT.

    Jaimy, don’t you want your server at McDonald’s to be able to read? Seriously, education benefits us all – not just the parents.

    I say no pool and break the referendum into two items; sports complex and everything else.

  7. As long as we continue to vote for incompetent people for school boards that think the key to education is spending more money we will continue to have horrible education while taxing people out of their homes. Yet voters forget the promises of the last two bonds that were going to change the world. Guess we get what we deserve.

  8. Agreed with SM. If it’s needed to improve academics, I’m all for the bonds. The football complex and indoor swimming facility, while great amenities for students, are not really needed when alternatives exist that can be used. I like the idea of separating the two into two different items to be voted on.

  9. You can’t depend on the Texas State stadium being available to use forever. The district definitely needs a stadium but $26 million does seems a bit excessive. Are SM high football games typically pretty packed? However, the whole swimming pool bit is really ridiculous in my opinion. Does the activity center have enough lanes for high school team to practice? I grew up in Killeen and we just used the pool at the main gym on base.

    I hope that an alternate option is presented that focuses on purely academic space although the administration building is just dreadful. I can’t say that I have too much faith in this vote being successful at all if it’s only presented as a take it all or have nothing approach.

  10. Heroes Stadium in San Antonio cost about $27.5 million. The new stadium in Allen famously cost $60 million. Texas State just spent $33 million renovating their stadium.

    Taking all of that into account – and the high cost of building materials – I don’t think $26.5 million is an outrageous price tag for a football stadium. Now if you wanted to debate whether a new stadium is necessary, I’m all ears….

  11. I think the school district should break it down into propositions. I believe SM is the only 5A school in Texas without a stadium. $11 million for a pool seems a bit high. We neeed to look into growth, I read an article on this website about SM is projected to grow about 13,000 people in the next 10 years. The district should look into about building a new middle school, in the 2004 bond, capacity increased in all elementary schools and SMHS but not much in the middle schools.

    The article states an .07 cent increase in taxes, so on a $150,000 home (150,000/100=1,500x.07=$105 a year/$8.75 more per month). I think the school districts needs to present more info on this bond.

  12. Perhaps I was slightly mispoken in my previous statement. I believe in self accountability. I was blessed to have an older sister and parents that , at home, had me writing and beginning to read BEFORE I entered the public school system, and competant in the language of our country, English, etc. Yes, I was also placed into a pre-K class while my mother was attending classes at Southwest Texas State, not while she sat at home making more babies to spawn upon the public to raise. When people decide to have babies, their decision carries the responsibility( personally ) to care for, feed, cloth, house, provide medical care, etc for those children that they conciously decided to create. The push being initiated at a national level, and in some cities such as San Antonio, by socialist agendas that place the burden of raising children on the public taxpayers is ludicrous to say the least! If you are incapable of being responsible for the welfare of your children, perhaps you need to evaluate whether you should be creating children in the first place, with the expectation, and misconception,that others will be responsible for their basic needs. Publically funded daycare serves no greater good in my opinion. Perhaps more emphasis needs to be placed on educating adults in the art of being responsible for their life choices, rather than creating more and more social programs to force the consequences of their life choices on others, while they wallow in the doomed/failed ideal of socialism and the entrapments it forces on an otherwise free society. The travesty of “social justice” ” A hand up” ” level the playing field” etc is that the funds to implement these ideologies must be extracted from society in the form of over-taxation without representation, in other words, with other peoples money. Please do not misunderstand my opinion, I certainly want reasonable public education to be available to the legal taxpaying public, I just have no stomach for throwing more and more money at what in essence amounts to yet more entitlement programs. We now know that ” Higher Education” is in deep trouble, the value of a degree compared to its costs is out of balance, check Moodys report in The Huffington Post for their evaluation, weeks ago. Instead of new stadiums ( we already have one that can be utilized) why not invest in career education ( Vocational Education) and similar life skills training, face it, not everyone is destined for university level education, nor is there a demand for it in our present declining economy. Perhaps San Marcos needs to consider an expansion of the present Activity Center, a larger pool that ALL of our citizens can utilize, as I suggested should have been negotiated when our city recently handed over one of the prime riverfront properties within its city limits for yet another private dorm complex at Capes Camp. As a result of the national level push for socialism, New Urbanism and efforts like Agenda 21, the defintive war on energy,over-taxation of free enterprise and the American dream in general, making a life for oneself in the midst of intrussive government over-reach is genuinely becoming a daunting challenge. Break up the bond election into definitive categories, let the taxpayers have real choices for a change, give us a concise voice in the future of our community. jlb:)

  13. @ SMsince95….. When do you plan on ascertaining that parents can read, or speak correctly? When do you propose that PARENTS be held responsible for their own children??? Why is it always the taxpayers burden,instead of the parents that created the children in the first place ??? Just currious… jlb 🙂

  14. Jaimy, by dumping this on the parents (whether it is justifiable or not), all you do is punish the children, and drag the problem out for another generation.

    BTW, they aren’t all just “making more babies to spawn upon the public to raise.” Many of them are struggling to do everything they can, to “care for, feed, cloth, house, provide medical care, etc for those children that they consciously decided to create,” but have limited options and resources, after being processed through the same busted system.

    Don’t come 9on here crying, when they’re old enough to vote, and don’t give two sh*ts about your environmental issues, because it all ties together.

  15. @ Ted.. When I no longer witness obese women buying ice cream, cake and soda pop with their handy dandy Lone Star/ food stamp cards at the grocery store, with broods in tow, I will make an attempt to believe in the myth that you mentioned that by and large, these parents are doing all that they can, etc. Craddle to grave socialism is failing miserably, take a look for yourself please! jlb 🙂

  16. I’ve realized that as long as our community remains complacent a majority of our school board trustees will continue to perpetuate a culture of low expectations in our public schools. We will always be talking about facilities and never about academics because our community does not demand things be different.

    Our school board spent several hours Monday night talking about the upcoming bond election but at the last regular scheduled board meeting they spent about 30 minutes talking about student achievement. Last November the Texas Education Agency released their 2011-2012 AEIS (Academic Excellence Indicator System) report for the San Marcos CISD. According to the report now only 38% of San Marcos High School graduates are college-ready in Math and English Language Arts. The average SAT score of a San Marcos High School student decreased from 973 to 923 both scores already well below the state average of 976. Although this discussion about district facilities might be needed I am disappointed that an equal amount of time is not being spent addressing the educational issues within the San Marcos CISD. Our community might disagree on whether or not we should have a football stadium, a PreK center, or if all graduates should be college-ready but we should all be able to agree that the future of San Marcos, from our quality of life to economic development and attracting good-paying jobs, depends on the success of our public schools.

    I hope that everyone reading this article and commenting will be attending the workshop next Monday and the school board meeting on the 25th.

  17. The schools are for the kids, not for their parents. Our responsibility is to do what it best for them, and if overcoming the challenges presented by their home life is part of that, so be it.

    It’s no myth that we reap what we sow, collectively.

  18. As a former student teacher at San Marcos High School I must say that your children and community have serious issues not your athletic facilities. How about focusing that money more on the education and parental engagement you desperately need? 26.6 million for a football field?!? That is insane! Especially when you have the types of academic and behavior problems I’ve seen at San Marcos High.

  19. Of course, it’s always very tempting to point at everyone else, when assigning blame for where we are. Someone else always ought to be doing something different.

  20. I agree in general with Juans statement. To clarify, throwing money at failed ideals ( similar to the present Admin at 1600 Penn) does not benefit the target group. If a system is broken, no amount of taxpayer monies will be able to fix it. My entire opinion is based on targeting the problems before they are untenable, rather than after. No welfare state can succeed, without overburdening those that it expects to pay the bills. We now have a new Career Education Bldg at SMHS ( Vocational Education) Years ago there was a superintendant that came to town spewing non-sense that every student would go to college, etc. We know NOW what a tragic, miserable mistake that flawed ideal was! Let’s not wallow in the mire of past mistakes once more, for the pure sake of wallowing where we have already proven failure. It all starts at home, if the first years are void of the necessary elements, this must be addressed first if we are ever to escape the inevitable failure of our public schools. jlb 🙂

  21. Other than objecting to the allocation for football, I have said nothing about throwing money at anything, in any particular manner. I am just talking about where responsibility lies.

    I say it all starts *in the community* first. That is where we differ. I believe we all own a piece of this, and we all pay the price for shirking that responsibility.

    That includes both of us.

  22. We must support strong public schools. I think it’s ridiculous to build a stadium when Bobcat Stadium is here, but otherwise I totally support these bonds. I’ll vote for them anyway. Sorry you haven’t made any babies Jaimy, but you still have a community responsiblity if you want to live in a successful and vibrant city. My only child is grown, but I still want San Marcos to be strong and have a great school system. And Mark Eads is an incredible guy. We should support him, support the schools and all get together to improve our community. You naysayers make me sick.

  23. Good grief, Jaimy. Look at all the misspelled words in your posts. When and where did you go to school?

  24. This is insane ! Why don’t we just go back to EDUCATION! Lets get rid of all the football, baseball, swim, etc. teams. If students want to play these sports let them play outside of the district on select teams. But going back to EDUCATION is probably out of the question. And if they want a football stadium lets just renovate the field at the old high school ! You know, the old high school that was full of mold that they had to build a new one for the students to go to school. Apparently it (mold) only affects certain aged children because it is now a middle school . Everyone needs to stick their hands back in their pockets and quit expecting a handout ! The economy sucks and people need to use what they have and tighten their belts ! Its pretty freakin simple !

  25. I have spent a good deal of time in several of these facilities, and the renovations and additions seem reasonable and warranted.

    As to the proposals for new facilities, I think spreading the pre-k(s) out to the six campuses where they will later attend k – 5th would make more sense by cultivating relationships earlier between the families and the administrations and keeping siblings together. It would also free a lot of space at Hernandez so we could rezone the elementary schools to tighter geography. I understood that the district never supported pre-k on every campus on account of cost, but $12.7 million might get us there. I also have serious questions about a football stadium, the pool, and the admin building, but I think it a little early to reject the work of the Newton/Pacheco committee or the recommendations of Mark Eads who I know to have a great energy for improving our district.

    Brad or Juan Miguel, do you have the dates, times and location of meetings where we can find out more information? Will they be carried on the city channel?

  26. John,

    I am posting from my phone right now but I know the date, times, and locations for the meetings are posted on SMCISD.net under the “calendar” link. I believe both meetings will be held at Central Office.

  27. @ Kate…yes, community responsibility to end the madness of throwing ” other peoples money” at societies self created problems, yes, I agree! Hmm, mispelled word hawk, get a life, please, I write off the cuff and rarely spellcheck myself. I went to school right here in good old dumbed down San Marcos, honors classes across the board until I left due to boredom after 8th grade. At earliest the convenience, by law, I obtained my GED, two days of testing,no studying. Unfortunately in the early 70s advanced placement was not an option yet, perhaps if it had been allowed to test out of 2-4 grades my life would have been more typical, but then, i would not trade my life experiences for anything now. Hmmm, yes,dumb it down so everyone can drown together, seems to be the national politic now ( for roughly 50%, only 46% in Texas) Happy Trails,unless we are talking about vocational education and work based mentor programs, etc.,then I am all in for those practical solutions to the pandemic of social ills that we now face in our once sound country! 🙂 jlb

  28. I don’t oppose the football stadium but I fear the bond will fail with it in there. I’m sure there are those that want them together hoping it can ride in on the coat-tails of the facility improvements. I cannot imagine the relationship with TxState/Bobcat Stadium will last very many more years. To guage support and foster discussion I suggest separating the stadium money from the rest.

    I’m pretty stingy in most things governmental but not when it comes to education. I especially approve of the Pre-K program and hope we can address the needs of any student who doesn’t speak English well.

  29. John,

    There’s a specially called meeting 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18 to discuss the capital improvements.

  30. Craddle to grave = Failed ideology. When Americans are once again required to espouse the basic elements of citizenship, work ethic, child rearing skills, etc, we will begin to reverse the past 47 years of mis-steps that ” The Great Society” has cursed our nation with. When it is broken, fix it. Until our children are once again taught the value of the freedoms that we have in America, I fear that they will continue to regress on the course established by decades of failed entitlement programs. I remember when i was in school, if you wanted free, or extra lunches, you could work in the cafeteria in exchange for them. Maybe this would be a good place to begin teaching our countrys children that the free ride is over now, and that there is a smarter and more effective way to” Give a hand up” by simply demanding accountability once again, instead of rewarding without requirement of individual merit. My ideals are not of greed, power, racism, or any other number of baseless adjectives tossed around by those that yearn for a socialist society, they are instead based in a definitive desire to hold myself and the world I live in accountable for their existance here. Break the bond package up so that the people can vote clearly for what they feel is the most important path forward. The ones paying the bills deserve this, at a minimum. jlb 🙂

  31. For all of you who are of the notion that the SMCISD is somehow not providing quality educations to our students and that academic and behavior problems abound, think again. I invite you to see for yourself how our school district and students are performing by going to the Making the Grade! San Marcos website. Please quit adding to the rumor mill and educate yourselves about the facts of the SMCISD.

    http://www.makingthegradesanmarcos.com/

  32. Thanks Gary. I have checked out that site, along with every corner of the TEA website, which I have been on for years.

  33. I strongly support a new administration building. If you don’t know the condition of the building, then please do a little research. I have taken the time to review the documentation and unequivocally say YES they need a new building.

    Now, that “$26.6 million stadium or a $11.4 million natatorium” is really going prepare our students for the job market or college – NOT!!! What a joke!

    Thank you to our school board trustees that take the time to listen and correspond. Some of y’all are wonderful leaders!!

    Best Regards, LMC

  34. I also would urge the school board to strongly consider breaking up the referendum into transparent choices. The advisory committee was divided on whether or not to include the swimming complex….if they are divided on this issue…the voters will also be divided.

    The football stadium is also highly controversial at 21 million dollars and one of the most controversial items. As a voter, I would have to have to see compelling evidence to support the benefits of spending this much on a football stadium.

    Pre- K is beneficial for the entire community. Study after study shows the benefits for early childhood education for the investment.

  35. I encourage everyone to “educate themselves” also. I am tired of people being vilified for saying that things need to improve in our local school district. Is the San Marcos CISD failing our students? No. Should the San Marcos CISD and our community be doing more? Absolutely and we need to say that. I want to echo the comments made about our community getting involved and realizing that the challenges in our schools are not because of teachers or curricula. It’s because we are OKAY with what is going on. I would like to see our district invest 6.1 million dollars into PreAP & AP classes, Gifted & Talented Education, Career & Technical Education, and Special Education instead of an alternative high school. We should focus on raising the bar and supporting our students so they can meet our expectations. Instead of selling ourselves short. If we want to see the schools of the San Marcos CISD achieve “recognized” and “exemplary” status, we must, as a community, finally reject the acceptance of lower standards and demand excellence for all of our school district’s children.

  36. I have three kids in the SMCISD. When I interviewed at the university and my husband and I subsequently looked in to buying a house here, the vast majority of people told us “Don’t send your kids to school in San Marcos.” We did anyway. The teachers at our kids’ schools, have for the most part, been amazing. Our kids love their teachers and they make fantastic progress in their classes. We often speculate about why people implored we not send our kids to school here… it’s still open for debate. We have no problem with the teachers or immediate school administrators. Granted, the district has issues – most districts do, but the dedication of the teachers (at this point in our kids’ lives) has been stellar.

    As a home owner (well…a buyer, but tax payer nonetheless) in the city, I would fully support renovations and additions to existing facilities. And although I am bitterly reluctant to support a new pre-K facility since my kids weren’t allowed to attend due to that pesky income limit (i.e., we make too much to qualify for pre-K, but not enough to send our kids to a nice private school), I support a pre-K facility because pre-K DOES benefit lots of kids and better prepares them for academic success over the next 12 years of school.

    I CANNOT and WILL NOT support a bond that includes a $26.6 or $11.4 MILLION DOLLAR athletic facility. How many kids’ academic lives could be impacted by an investment of $38 million – the combined cost of those two facilities? How many kids would have access to technology, science, art, and reading/literature education AND for how long for $38 MILLION dollars? The percentage of this bond, 48%, is dedicated for NON_ACADEMIC facilities. Absurd!

    I DO recognize that sport participation has been proven to positively impact kids’ lives; and that kids who participate in sports are less likely to get involved in delinquent or illegal activity. However, I also strongly think that SMCISD, being in a university-town, could do so much more in supporting academics than trying to keep pace with the university’s move to fancy, bowl-based athletics to market itself.

    Then again, just to ramble, and demonstrate blatant sarcasm, that $38 million would be a wonderful asset for the (estimated) 40 football players, 20 cheerleaders, 25 track and field, and 20 swim athletes that benefit from those facilities each year. Or, just for speculation, perhaps that 48% of the bond is purely to attract good, sports-oriented families to San Marcos. I can only imagine the conversation: “But they have a fancy new stadium…and YOU could be the star quarterback or running back!”

    Seriously, separate these two – facilities and/or academic support. I’ll pay the extra tax on my middle-class home (don’t worry, I’m not rich – I couldn’t afford an apartment in this town) IF and ONLY IF it’s focused on SMCISD academic quality. If it’s put forth as one bond measure, no way.

  37. So basically a third of this bond is for a football stadium. What’s wrong with the arrangement with Texas State? That arrangement has been in place for a *long* time. Are there any reasons for this change?

    I won’t be voting for this with the stadium included. That’s a shame because many of the other items seem worthwhile.

  38. JMA, I can’t understand how you weren’t elected to the School Board, but I will vote for you (again!) when you run the next time. : )

  39. — “I can only imagine the conversation: “But they have a fancy new stadium…and YOU could be the star quarterback or running back!””

    Bingo. All too real I’m afraid. If the public wants it let them demonstrate by putting it on a separate ballot item.

  40. If you include Junior Varsity, Varsity, Freshman, and Junior High teams, far, far more than “40 football players” and “25 track and field”.

    Now I don’t know whether the new stadium will host all teams from SMCISD or just the High School teams, but either way there are probably around 150-175 boys just on the high school teams.

    And it’s not just the players who benefit from the use of the facility – cheerleaders, drill team, band, etc. etc.

    Also, does anyone know how much SMCISD pays Texas State for the use of its stadium? What’s the “break even” on the differential? If we’re paying them $100K a year for the privilege of using the stadium, it makes it a lot easier to consider a new stadium – after all, why rent when you can own?

  41. Dano, the breakeven at $100k, would be 270 years, I believe.

    Interesting question, though. I would also be curious to know.

  42. I’d also be curious to know the maintenance cost for a $27 million stadium. It seems like there is one right up the road, maybe in Round Rock. I can’t remember for sure.

  43. Gary, I did look at the website the first time you posted it and believe that more information is helpful. I appreciate it very much. I guess I just have higher expectations and I was not impressed with the data overall. When I see figures in the high 60’s or low 70’s, I think about the other 30% of our community’s kids that didn’t make the cut and I don’t want them left behind. I think we can do better for the children in this community. I love this community and I want the best for it. I tend to view things in terms of good, better, and best. I want the best for myself and everyone! We may disagree on things and I am ok with that being the case. I appreciate your contributions to the conversation. Have a great day!

  44. Dano,

    There’s already a football field with bleachers out at the high school. This should be adequate for any junior varsity or freshmen teams. It should also be fine for practice for any of the students you’ve mentioned. The only time an actual stadium, much less one that costs over 25 million dollars, would be of any additional benefit is during the varsity games.

  45. Gene, my thoughts exactly. We tend to focus on the students who do really well, as evidence that there is no room for meaningful improvement. The pool of students who do not do well is large, and we should all be interested in how we can help those kids.

    No doubt, a $27 million stadium would be one of the top stadiums in the state. I’d guess that it would be in the top 10%. How is it that wanting to be a top 10% school, academically, is such a terrible thing?

  46. The reason SMCISD wants a stadium because Texas State has since moved up to FBS (D-1A) and SMHS is not allowed to play on Fridays anymore. They have been forced to play on Thursdays only and with Texas State in the next few years bringing bigger schools to play at Bobcat Stadium SMHS could be pushed out of the stadium all together. At the end of the day it is all up to Texas State.

    Cost of other stadiums:

    RRISD Stadium 26.5 million (2005)
    North East ISD (SA) Heroes Stadium 27.5 million (2009)
    Allen ISD 60.0 million (2011)
    Georgetown ISD Stadium (Remodeled) 11.5 million (2009)

  47. Ted,

    Earlier, I posted that Heroes stadium in San Antonio cost roughly the same amount to build as what they’re proposing for our new stadium. Maybe you can find data on maintenance costs for them.

    Also, Texas State just spent $33 million just to renovate their stadium – wonder how much the “rent” is going to go up for SMCISD as a result of this renovation and how much that impacts the sudden decision to seek our own stadium?

    Finally, I doubt the rent to SMCISD is “only” $100K annually anyway. I did five minutes worth of research and found out that Ohio State rents its field out for $25K [i]per event[/i]. Other D1 schools have similar rates.

    Look, I’m not saying that spending money on a football stadium is or isn’t a bad idea….I’m saying that unless we know all of these facts we really can’t make an informed decision either way. Anyone saying “I can’t believe we’re spending money on football” is missing the point that we’re *already* spending money on football and this *might* be a more cost effective way to spend our future dollars.

    I’ll withhold my own judgement until more data is available.

  48. Thanks, Cori!

    Sadly, i’ve now realized that although it would be helpful having more trustees on the board who advocated for higher expectations it won’t be until our community demands their tax dollars be spent more wisely, our students are prepared for life after high school, and that we no longer settle for mediocrity. Commenting on this thread cannot be where our advocacy stops. If it is our school board and district will remain complacent.

    Mr. Mayhew advocated for the school district to set goals during last year’s election and here we are almost one year later and the superintendent has instead focused the board’s attention and the attention of the community on a bond election. If we need to talk about facilities, let’s talk about them, but let’s also talk about academics.

    During last year’s election I stated that the school board should partner with the city council to host school board meetings at city hall so that they can be televised and here we are again almost one year later and the school district’s administration continues to drag their feet.

    We can do better and we have to do better. But we need more people demanding that we do better.

  49. I can’t find the source for it now but I recall reading that the rental fee is $75K per year. I’ve seen several comments along the lines of “we can’t expect that deal to last”. I’d be interested to know if there is any basis for that line of thought. Has the university asked to renegotiate the contract or given any indication that they will not renew?

    The justification that Mark Eads gave for building a stadium was that playing in a college stadium motivated our opponents but the thrill had warn off for our players. He never mentioned the stadium possibly not being available.

  50. Here is an informative article from the University Star:

    http://star.txstate.edu/node/6659

    Apparently the cost to the school district last year was $40,000 total… which seems like a good deal.

    The main impetus for building a high school stadium is apparently relieving scheduling conflicts that would ensure friday night games.

    Personally I wonder if part of the confusion is due to the newness of the Sun Belt Conference. As far as I know, university games are still on Saturdays so I’m still confused. Anyways, I wonder if letting the Sun Belt have at least a couple years to work out the kinks might be the most prudent choice.

  51. I would be more surprised to see the rent go up, than the deal to be taken off the table. TXST does not have the most well-funded football program around, to put it mildly.

  52. I sincerly hope that when this comes to the ballot box it is broken up line by line. While I am staunchly opposed to yet more socialist-based programs like publicly funded Pre-K, that appear to be a recent fad,I am strongly in favor of more programs that bring students and families to a strong achievement based curriculum, not one where everyone gets a blue ribbon thereby negating the value of sincere competition for higher levels of success! Someone mentioned to me yesterday that with imnproved facilities we would expect to see a stronger interest for middle income families to settle in San Marcos. Of course, we will need to start building the homes that they will desire, and protecting the neighborhoods as well as promoting a strong commitment to preserving our natural environment, etc. SO, break it up, let the choosing begin by those that will be expected to pay the bill, the taxpayers. jlb 🙂

  53. One more important thought. God Bless our many dedicated teachers and staff that probably often have to make do with many challenges related to infrastructure deficiences. They are on the front lines when children are dropped in their lap to guide and teach, often the very basic lifeskills that they have been denied prior to attending school. These teachers and staff have my upmost respect and adoration, as one who had a sister that taught for over 35 years, I sincerly understand the many demands shouldered by these valiant professionals! jlb 🙂

  54. The rent for Bobcat Stadium is $7,000 per game. I think there are 5 home games per season. How many years would it take to equal the new stadium cost?

  55. However, the deal with Texas State will not be for much longer. Also, visiting universities will require the stadium the day before the game.

  56. In case anyone needed to continue educating themselves on the “notion that the SMCISD is somehow not providing quality educations to our students and that academic and behavior problems abound.”

    http://reports.thecb.state.tx.us/approot/hs_college/hs_college_main_launch.htm

    …only 36 percent of San Marcos High School’s graduating class of 2011 matriculated to community college or a four year university.

    http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/staar-district-results-2011-2012/

    …73.6 percent of San Marcos High School student’s scored unsatisfactory on their English III STAAR test.

    The links provided offer information about student achievement within the San Marcos CISD, our region, and the state.

    Mr. Breihan is right. Our teachers should not be blamed. We as a community need to hold ourselves accountable and demand more from our public schools and from ourselves.

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