Voters give mixed scores for Texas Panhandle school bond proposals

Last Updated by Mike Smith on
Rendering of proposed Borger High School stadium.
Parkhill Smith & Cooper/SafeShare

In addition to choosing mayors and filling city council and school board seats, Texas Panhandle voters this past Saturday also approved or rejected some school districts' requests to borrow money for facilities improvements.

All vote tallies listed below were final as of the end of Saturday but still must be certified by each school district board. 

Borger ISD: A new Bulldog Stadium with artificial turf, new grandstands, a press box and a new field house are among the items in a $40.9 million package submitted to voters this past Saturday.

The improvements also include a new Ag Barn, new elementary school playground equipment, an upgraded Borger Middle School gym, and additional classrooms and labs at Borger High School to create a dedicated freshman wing.

The 30-year bond issue will be repaid through an increase in the district’s debt service tax.

District voters agreed that the upgrades were necessary, with 683, or 69 percent, granting permission to issue bonds.

Childress ISD:  A $9.8 million proposal included several facility improvements such as new elementary and junior high libraries, hardened safety areas at both schools, upgraded classroom access at both schools, and a vocational agriculture education center at Childress High School.

The 30-year bond issue would have roughly doubled CISD’s tax rate to 16.68 cents per $100 valuation, according to district bond information. Voters rejected the proposal with 648 voters, or about 70 percent, voting against the measure.

Hereford ISD: The district asked voters for $45 million to fund a four-part package of projects. The proposal included:

- An early childhood development center for $17.5 million

- Five multi-purpose activity centers for physical education, assemblies, theater and choir programs at the district’s five elementary schools

- $8 million for security, fire alarms, smoke detectors and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance at district facilities

- $6.8 million for renovations and ADA accessibility at the gym, a field house replacement and new restroom and concession facilities.

Voters, for the second time in two years, rejected the district’s request to borrow funds by a margin of 795 votes against – 59 percent – to 557 votes in favor. The defeat continues Hereford ISD's streak of more than 40 years without a successful bond issue for its schools.

Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips Consolidated ISD: Trustees asked voters to authorize more than $1.1 million for construction, renovations, equipment and new school buses. Voters approved the bond, to be repaid for up to 40 years, by a margin of 93 votes to 37 votes.

Walcott ISD: This small one-school district in Deaf Smith County asked permission from voters to issue more than $1.4 million in bonds for renovations and equipment at Walcott Elementary School.

Voters approved the request, with 17 votes in favor and three against. 

 

*Updated at 4:26 p.m. with information from PSPCISD.

Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at mike.smith@actx.edu, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.

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