Upcoming bond election not raising public interest

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On May 12, voters in the Schulenburg Independent School District will decide on an $8.975 million bond to fund new school facilities but, judging from the participation at a recent town hall meeting on the topic, hardly anyone is interested.

No one showed up at the public meeting on April 16 to discuss facility improvements and the bond election. Very few came to previous meetings and facilities tours.

The final public meeting on the subject will be Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. in the Secondary Library. One more facilities tour is planned – Saturday, May 5 beginning at 10 a.m. and starting at the Secondary Library.

Superintendent Walter Padgett said if voters pass the bond next month, financing is guaranteed at four percent. SISD’s 3-5-10 Committee, the group charged with drawing-up the facility improvement plan, originally called for a new track and tennis courts, stadium improvements, and a new facility for the ag department. When engineers returned a $10 million to $12 million price tag for the entire package, the committee decided to prioritize the list.

The 20-year bond will cost taxpayers $13.2 million in total. According to the plan approved by the school board on Feb. 27, capital improvements will include a new band hall and auditorium named the I. E. Clark Performing Arts Center, a high school commons area, and access control measures to prevent unauthorized entry. The plan also adds 300 parking spaces.

The Performing Arts Center will replace the existing auditorium, which was closed at the beginning of this school year due to safety concerns. The building suffers from foundation problems. Shifting ground caused several large cracks up the north and east inside walls of the building. Some of the cracks are visible from the outside as well.Read more