China Spring and Lorena school district officials say growing enrollment is why they are asking voters to head to the polls for a bond election in May.
Lorena Independent School District is pursuing a $22.9 million bond issue and China Spring Independent School District is going for a $15.3 million bond issue.
With three new subdivisions on the way in the district, Lorena ISD needs to prepare room for current and expected growth, Lorena Superintendent Sandra Talbert said.
The bond issue would increase the current Lorena ISD tax rate of $1.31 per $100 tax valuation by 29 cents.
For every $50,000 of property valuation, the monthly tax bill would increase by $12.07.
Lorena ISD had a facility study done and considered numerous options to accommodate growing enrollment.
“In the long run, we feel like the most financially prudent decision is to do renovations and additions at our current facilities,” she said. “Every single campus is getting something significant.”
The primary school would
get additional classrooms.
The elementary school would get maintenance work and renovations to free up classroom space. The middle school would add cafeteria space and new flooring.
The high school would get more classrooms, science labs, library space, cafeteria space, a new gym and more room at its stadium.
“It’s the stadium we won the state championship in when we were 2A and now we’re 3A. Literally, there is nowhere to sit,” Talbert said.
The district also plans to put money into roadwork to ease current traffic problems around the some of the schools.
Maintenance also is a driving cause behind Lorena’s bond. Talbert said that with the cuts in state funding during the past couple of years, Lorena kept as many teachers as it could at the expense of maintenance projects.
“We need to fix the things we have and make sure they’re in good working order,” Talbert said.
Lorena, like other districts seeking bond issues in May, is including security in the bond package.
Lorena would add vestibules to its schools to funnel visitors directly into the front office when they enter.
China Spring ISD, which has grown by 1,000 students in the past 10 years, simply needs more space, Superintendent Marc Faulkner said.
At the high school of about 700 students, $12.4 million would go to a new classroom wing; a new cafetorium, which could be used as both a cafeteria and an auditorium; ag classroom and band hall renovations; locker room and HVAC renovations; and restroom upgrades.
“Our band facility is packed. In the cafeteria, we have people in every nook and cranny eating,” China Spring school board President John Palmer said.
At the elementary school, $2.4 million would go to new classrooms and restrooms, a new play gym, HVAC renovations and new flooring. Faulkner said the current gym simply isn’t big enough for the 800-student campus.
Another $500,000 would go to security, such as cameras at schools, and technology infrastructure.
The China Spring ISD bond is expected to increase the current tax rate of $1.37 by 15.5 cents per $100 valuation, according to district officials.
For every $50,000 of property valuation, assuming there is a $15,000 homestead exemption, the monthly tax bill would increase by $4.52 per month.
McGregor and Midway independent school districts also are holding bond elections for $18.5 million and $34.5 million, respectively, for growth and maintenance.
The bond elections will be May 11.
Lorena, China Spring ISD bond projects
Lorena, $22.9 million bond package
Lorena High School — $16.9 million for classroom additions and renovations, cafeteria and library expansion, new gym, stadium upgrades
Lorena Primary School — $2 million for classroom additions
Lorena Elementary School — $1.9 million for maintenance, office renovations to free up classroom space
Lorena Middle School — $1.3 million to add cafeteria space, new flooring
Roadwork — $800,000
China Spring — $15.3 million bond package
China Spring High School — $12.4 million for new classrooms, new cafeteria, ag classroom, band hall and locker room renovations, HVAC renovations, restroom upgrades
China Spring Elementary School — $2.4 million for new classrooms and restrooms, new play gym, new flooring, HVAC renovation
Districtwide improvements — $500,000 for security, technology