After the rejection of a $13.6 million bond measure by Waelder ISD voters, the school board has approved consideration of an issue of a maintenance and repairs bond that does not require a vote by the public.
This bond will limit the school district’s initial plans on adding new facilities on their school district, such as a six-room classroom pod that would be totally new construction.
“The limit to it is you can remodel any building that you have and make repairs to any building that you have,” Superintendent Ron Lilie said. “You can’t add on square footage and you can’t build a new building and that takes up about 85 percent on what we already want to do.”
One of the upgrades slated under this new bond is the formation of a new cafeteria with an auditorium installed within it where the old gym used to be. Any remodels within the building, such as a new vestibule with highly secured doors, will be covered. The maintenance and repairs bond will be covered by a maintenance and operations tax rate, rather than an interest and sinking tax rate.
This comes after a 165-98 vote against the original bond that would result in a minor property tax increase. This new bond would have been the first for the district in 15 years.
“You guys have lowered taxes down to 95 cents; there is no one as cheap as you guys are on the property tax,” Lilie said. “Interesting thing is that the bond would have probably raised up to ten to 11 cents.”
The school district hopes to open the initial bond for another vote in November. The rejection comes after a recent open house held by Waelder ISD that went over the proposed changes to the original bond. There were 23 people that showed up to the first open house; however, that number dwindled significantly, according to Lilie.
“We were baffled a little bit. People want to know about it, but they didn’t show up,” Lilie said. “I think it’s a good investment, when you keep the school going and you have the youth, then your community is more alive.”
With the population increase at Waelder ISD, the need for additional classrooms has become much more prevalent, according to Lilie. In the nature of staying true to remodeling, some office space may be utilized for extra classrooms, instead of adding additional buildings.