Voters approve of some Gregory Portland and Callen School bonds
Coastal Bend school districts are looking forward to school improvement projects after voters approved school bonds during Saturday’s election.
Bond elections were successful at Calallen ISD, Gregory-Portland ISD, Port Aransas ISD, and Odem-Edroy ISD.
For full election results and unofficial vote tallies, visit Caller.com.
Gregory Portland ISD
In Gregory-Portland ISD, voters approved a roughly $176 million bond package, the district’s second attempt after a similar but larger bond package failed last fall. This time, Superintendent Michelle Cavazos said the district focused on informing voters about the projects and understanding the financial impact.
About 65% of more than 2,000 voters approved the bond, according to unofficial results. Final results will be compiled this week.
“The election results reveal that our community actively supports our students, our staff, and the long-term advancement of public schools,” Cavazos said in a press release.
Bond projects include:
- Nearly $50 million to rebuild TM Clark Elementary School
- About $11 million for Gregory Portland High School cafeteria additions and expansion of the culinary program
- About $26.5 million to upgrade area maintenance and transportation facilities and add a Family Resource Center
- About $22 million for baseball and softball replacement fields
- About $20 million for GP High School’s fine arts facility upgrades, including a new concert hall
- Nearly $7 million to add hands-on learning experiences to district elementary schools
- About $2 million to renovate the Stephen F. Austin Elementary
- $4 million in deferred maintenance
- 2 million dollars for security and safety projects
- Over $30 million in refunds for completed projects with maintenance and operations funds
The falling interest and tax rate in the region will not increase as a result of the bond. More than 90% of the bond project will be paid for by local industry.
“We are very fortunate at this time in our history to be able to offer this bond without an increase in the overall tax rate due to industrial growth in our region, and we know that these types of opportunities will not always be available in the future,” Cavazos said.
Voters also filled three seats on the eight-member Gregory-Portland ISD board of trustees, re-electing Tim Flynn and Carrie Gregory and adding newcomer Laura DeLuna. Outgoing board member Dean Atkinson, who was appointed to fill a vacancy last year, is not seeking re-election.
Cavazos said the region will begin work on bond projects quickly and will begin requests for proposals in the coming weeks.
As for the TM Clark rebuild, Cavazos said the district will begin moving the baseball and softball fields so that a new campus can be built alongside the existing campus without interrupting learning.
The district will post a schedule online at www.g-pisd.org by the end of May so that members of the public can keep up with the progress of the projects.
more:Gregory-Portland ISD is trying to get another bond in May. Here’s what you’ll fund.
At Calallen ISD, one of two bond proposals has been approved.
Voters approved Proposition A, a more than $55 million package covering safety and security upgrades, academic and fine arts improvements and maintenance, but did not approve Proposition B, which would have raised more than $12.5 million for stadium and athletic upgrades.
Superintendent Emily Lorenz said there was some disappointment with the stadium upgrades not being approved, but the district was “very excited” as the community supported academic and facility-focused projects.
Proposition A is the largest bond in the history of the district.
Both proposals were drafted by a bond committee of school and community stakeholders.
At Calallen High School, the district plans to convert the existing Small Auditorium into offices and classrooms and to build approximately $20.5 million performing arts facilities behind Band Hall to replace the old stage.
Other projects at Calallen High School include renovations to the Career and Technical Education Building, cafeteria, plumbing and fencing and exterior lighting upgrades and a public interior remodeling of some of the older sections of the building.
At Callallen Middle School, projects include security upgrades and library renovations. Magee Middle School is scheduled for security upgrades and new turf and track, while West Intermediate can expect fencing and turf upgrades and the addition of a pavilion.
more:Callallen ISD is calling a $67.8 million bond election in May. Here’s what you’ll fund.
East Elementary will receive a general exterior and interior renovation, as well as a bus lane, cafeteria improvements, new furniture, playground turf, and improved fencing and lighting. Wood River Elementary School will receive new track and field turf, cafeteria improvements, several security, fencing and lighting updates like the other schools, as well as a general reconfiguration.
The package also includes $3 million in deferred maintenance districtwide and additional bus parking.
The area’s advisory bond board will determine the priority and schedule for projects, but Lorenz said she expects safety and security upgrades first.
The median home value in Kalalen ISD is $175,506. For this homeowner, the effect of Bid A is an increase of $57.24.
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