Hays school board to review $60 million bond proposal



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Posted on December 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 16 at 8:20 AM

HAYS COUNTY, Texas -- When the school bell rings and students file out of the classroom, the hallways in Hays County schools fill up fast.

“We're one of the fastest growing school districts in the State of Texas right now, and people want to move here,” said Hays CISD Board of Trustees President Willie Tenorio.

There are currently more than 16,500 students in the district. Tenorio says it grows by 700 to 1,000 new students a year.

The district is considering a $60 million bond proposal to keep up with growth and demands. At the top of the list is a new middle school. Three of the five middle schools in the district are at capacity already.

“We can get more kids in the classroom, but that's not necessarily conducive to a good education. Even if you can get more kids in the classroom, what happens is that the cafeterias can't accommodate that many. The bathrooms can't accommodate that many, the hallways can't accommodate that many,” explained Tenorio.

Bond money would also pay for security upgrades. Tenorio says two of the middle schools are at risk because there are two entrances to get inside.

“You can enter without going through the office and checking in,” said Tenorio.

The bond money would have a direct impact on classrooms. It covers the cost for more computers and expands wireless access. It could also pay for more career path programs.

“We're preparing for the future,” said Tenorio.

Transportation issues are also included in the proposal. The district is in desperate need for more school buses. The bond would provide 19 new buses in all.

The plan needs voter approval. Voters must decide how much they're willing to pay. The district is hopeful.

“I think that if the bond is going to bring more technology to our schools that it will bring. I think that it would have the kids be more excited about learning,” said Sarah Green.

According to the proposal taxes would go up about seven cents for every $100. The average Hays County home is worth nearly $133,000. Taxes for those homes would rise by about $7 a month.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to review the bond proposal on Monday. Members could vote to approve, modify or reject the proposal.

Two public hearings are tentatively set for January. If approved the bond election would be held on May 10.