Voters overwhelmingly approved an $86.7 million bond referendum on Saturday, with 70.33 percent in support of the one proposition. According to preliminary vote totals, 1,114 voted in favor of the proposition out of 1,584 total votes.
The bond package includes two new elementary schools, a new middle school, $2.4 million for new buses, $2 million for the purchase of land, infrastructure and contingencies, $2 million for technology/security, $7 million for districtwide improvements, $1.3 million to improve the running tracks at Barton, Wallace and Dahlstrom middle schools, and $2 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment in the new schools.
The package will provide funds for parking at several schools and to improve the safety around parent/student pick-up and drop-off at several schools.
“I would like to thank the community for its support,” said Dr. Kirk London, Hays CISD Superintendent of Schools. “This will allow the school district to stay ahead of the enrollment growth. We are fortunate to be in a situation to do this and pay for it out of economic growth.”
Enrollment projections put an extra 1,000 students in the district each year for the next several years, Dr. London said. Current enrollment is slightly more than 13,000 students.
“As soon as we can, we will be contacting our architects and contractors to begin construction of the fifth middle school to be open by August 2009,” Dr. London said. Based on the Chapa Middle School prototype, construction documents have been approved by the School Board.
The school, located next to Hemphill Elementary School, about five miles east of Interstate 35 on State Highway 150, will provide relief to Wallace Middle School, Chapa Middle School and Dahlstrom Middle School, which are facing crowded conditions, Dr. London said.
“This should take care of our middle school needs for several years,” he said.
The two new elementary schools in the bond package will provide relief to Elm Grove Elementary, Tom Green Elementary and Buda Elementary schools.
“They should provide relief for the tremendous growth we are anticipating in the northern portion of our district,” he said.
Trustees Mark Jones (at-large), Melissa Espinoza (District 1) and Joe Muñoz (District 2), were all unopposed in the May 10 election and will be sworn in for three-year terms at the June 16 School Board meeting.
By JULIE JEROME
Chief Information Officer