Hays board to decide on bond package Monday

By Megan Wehring
HAYS CISD — Looking at a bond election May 1, 2021 in the range of $233 million, the Hays CISD Board of Trustees will make a decision on Monday, Jan. 25 as to whether or not to move forward.
The May 2020 bond election was originally postponed per Gov. Greg Abbott’s directives, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Hays CISD administration recommended the board to declare the bond moot for November 2020, thus cancelling that election.
At this time, there are several proposals that the board is reviewing.
Proposition A calls for expanding various schools within the district in order to accommodate present and projected growth. Trustees decided to move forward with the recommended $250,000 for land due diligence, $2.4 million in design fees for a future elementary school and one project manager.
Expansion at Negley and Elm Grove elementary schools and Wallace, Dahlstrom, Chapa and McCormick middle schools are included in Proposition A. While a new elementary school was among the recommended items, the board will hold off on adding that to the election order at this time.
“We are getting some more information,” said Board President Esperanza Orosco. “If needed, we can always amend the election order if it comes to that.”
Proposition B is based on renovations and rehabilitation district assets. These include HVAC, fire alarms, roofing, flooring, maintenance and hardscape/civil projects. The administration recommended 35 outdoor learning canopies to be considered for Proposition B, but the board only moved forward with the playground shade structures and one project manager.
Several trustees agreed that it would be better to slowly start adding shade structures to playgrounds, rather than 27 at once. Max Cleaver, chief operations officer, said it would be best to start with the campuses that don’t have any existing shade.
“My goal would be to figure out which campuses have none at all, start there and try to figure out where to get an even playing field,” Cleaver said. “There are some campuses that are fully covered and some that have none. So you would obviously start with the campuses that have none.”
Propositions C through F include stadium expansions at Johnson High and Lehman High, Lehman baseball and softball renovations, more parking for Shelton Stadium and a new administration building.
Community members can view more details of specific projects for the 2021 bond online.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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