Voters add millions of dollars in construction work with school bonds
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Two area school districts soon will get to work on millions of dollars in construction.
Voters in Canyon Independent School District and Hereford Independent School District overwhelmingly approved their respective districts’ requests Tuesday night to pay for new, expanded, and renovated facilities.
In Canyon ISD, 15,454 voters, or 68.21 percent, approved of the $196 million package. "This is very encouraging for us as a school district to get support from across the community," Canyon ISD Superintendent Dr. Darryl Flusche said.
A new high school, two new elementary schools, new technology, renovations to Randall High School, and upgrades at Kimbrough Stadium and Canyon High School’s baseball and softball facilities are among the projects included in the bond.
Now, the district will begin consulting with teachers and staff to design interior renovations. Renovations will begin next summer so as not to interrupt classes, Flusche said.
Design work also will begin with the planned elementary schools, with construction possibly beginning in the summer. The district expects to have all work completed by the summer of 2024 – likely earlier, Flusche said.
Two-thirds of voters – 2,309 across Deaf Smith and Castro counties – broke Hereford ISD's more than 40-year streak of bond failures by approving a $22.4 million program to bring its schools in compliance with safety codes and increase security.
The work also includes a new athletic field house and upgraded softball, baseball, and tennis courts. Hereford ISD voters rejected a $45 million proposal in May 2017 that included security upgrades and an early childhood center.
"Hereford ISD is very pleased with the results of the bond and would like to say thank you to the Hereford ISD voters," Superintendent Sheri Blankenship said in a statement. "The Hereford community came together and voted to support the needs of Hereford ISD. We expect great things for the future of Hereford ISD and for the Hereford community."
Texas Panhandle school districts in recent years have fared well with bond proposals. Despite rejections in Childress and Hereford in 2017, voters that year also approved more than $162 million in school improvements in 2017 including a $100 million package for Amarillo Independent School District and $41 million for Borger Independent School District.