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LISD approves $6.7M bond vote

The Lingleville school board approved a $6.75 million bond election Feb. 14 to address the construction of a 25,074 square-foot building to house a larger, modern cafeteria, 10 classrooms including a modern junior high lab, offices and a unified entrance to increase school security.

The proposed building project had drawn a crowd as about 20 gathered in the school library. Emily Howle addressed the board on their behalf.

“We appreciate all the effort,” Howle said to the board, referencing in months of planning and facilities needs meetings that had resulted in the current plan. “I invited several community members from all demographics to ask you to move forward.”

School board member Jay Procter asked Howle whatthegeneralconsensus has been on the project. Howle responded that everyone she had spoken to was in favor of the upgrade.

“They like the idea that they got to see it,” she said, referencing a concept video on the school’s website and community meetings held recently. “They like that the staff got to be part of the planning.”

Howle offered several reasons for her support, saying the portable buildings were outdated and had been there when she graduated in 2001. She also said that the school was “growing like crazy.” (School enrollment was announced at 276 during the meeting — 167 for elementary, 43 for junior high and 66 for high school.)

“If we get more kids, we’ve got no place to put them,” she said.

This crowding is most felt in the school’s cafeteria, which can seat a maximum of 81 students and was last remodeled in 1996. The limited seating means multiple lunch periods with the youngest students eating at 10:30 a.m.

“These kids are our future,” she said. “If we don’t take care of them, we’re shorting ourselves.”

Robert Kellar also spoke on behalf of the construction saying it will result in more orderly and safer parking and will address cafeteria needs and allow more kids to come into the community.

Leon Johnson, senior vice president for Texas Public Finance with George K. Baum and Company, was also present to speak with the board about the proposed bond to finance the project.

Johnson said that interest rates were historically low, averaging around 4.23 percent for a 20-year loan. He also provided what the approval of the bond would do to local tax rates, saying that a $100,000 home could expect to pay $294 more per year. He advised that taxpayers 65 and older will not face the increase as their taxes are frozen under the homestead exemption.

Johnson encouraged the school to keep informing the public about the benefits of the project but cautioned that the school couldn’t speak in favor of the bond itself. He therefore, recommended the creation of a political action committee to promote the bond and share information with voters.

Following Johnson’s address, the board unanimously voted to an agreement with George K. Baum as financial advisor and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton as bond counsel.

When calling for the bond election, it was announced that the highest estimate provided by architects Dale Rabe & Partners was $6.61 million. The board members suggested a $6.75 million bond so that could be sure to cover the project and that the remainder could go to other remodeling needs by the district.

Lingleville ISD Superintendent Curt Haley announced he planned to make early voting available at the high school.

“If we’re having a Lingleville election, voting should be [available] in Lingleville,” Haley said.

Haley also announced some improvements already ongoing at the school as a covered entrance was being installed at the elementary school. The awning will run the width of the building and keep students waiting to be picked up out of the sun or rain. He expects it to be finished in summer for the next school year.

Board members also unanimously approved the 2019-20 school year calendar, which will once again include 177 school days starting the fourth Monday of August and ending on May 29.

They also approved Policy Update 112 to address changes at the state level.

Dublin Citizen

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