What to know about Hays CISD 2021 bond

By Megan Wehring

HAYS CISD — Voters will decide on a bond package in the range of $232 million on May 1.

Several propositions will be on the ballot to be voted on separately that would help Hays CISD provide the infrastructure needed for the growing student enrollment. While there is no tax rate increase anticipated with the bond, the Board of Trustees will use any unspent funds from each proposition to pay down existing debt.

Proposition A, set at around $147 million, includes expanding the middle schools; $38 million for a new elementary school (ES 15); $23.14 million to renovate and expand the science labs at Hays High School; $8.9 million to renovate and expand Live Oak Academy; $3.38 million to purchase new buses; $2.48 million in design fees for elementary school 16 in the future; and other items to accommodate school district growth.

The Sunfield community in Buda will benefit from the new elementary school, according to Board President Esperanza Orosco.

“That’s really important for our growth,” Orosco said. “We see tremendous growth going up in the Sunfield subdivision and a huge need for that elementary school. That school, which is going to seat about 900 students, is very important to that area.”

Orosco added that even with some students switching to virtual learning this year, she is anticipating more students to return in-person next year. This causes an even greater need for adequate classroom space.

“I had the opportunity to take a tour of the science labs at Hays High School,” Orosco said. “They are definitely not where they need to be. These are very old science labs that are not equipped to handle the number of students that are in a class.”

Proposition B, set at around $41 million, calls for renovations and rehabilitation of the district’s assets. These include HVAC, fire alarms, roofing, flooring, maintenance and hardscape/civil projects. Twelve shade structures for existing playgrounds are also listed.

Propositions C through F include stadium expansions at Johnson High and Lehman High, Lehman baseball and softball renovations, Shelton Stadium parking, a new administration building and technology improvements.
Stadium expansions are vital for the entire Hays CISD community, Orosco said, because it will limit the need for additional games away from home.

“We have so many away games,” Orosco said. “That takes its toll not only on the equipment and students, but also the teachers that are having to leave class early to go travel with students. Because a lot of these teachers teach and coach and they have to miss a lot of time away from the classroom.”

Superintendent Eric Wright encourages all Hays CISD voters to read the bond information at https://www.hayscisd.net/bond2021 before heading to the polls on May 1. In addition, the full text in both English and Spanish will be printed in the April 7 edition of the Hays Free Press.

“People can make an informed decision on what they are voting on,” Wright said. “They can drill down into any item they may have questions on. We just want to hear from our voters.”

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About Author

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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